Indian pastor beaten up, then detained, after 11 Hindus convert to Christianity

Indian pastor beaten up, then detained, after 11 Hindus convert to Christianity
An Indian pastor was beaten up by Hindu nationalists, then arrested by police on Monday (18 June) for allegedly forcing some local families in Muzaffarnagar, a city in Uttar Pradesh state, to convert to Christianity, reports The Times of India. Dipender Prakash was reportedly attacked by members of Bajrang Dal, . . . Read More

India: Police slow to register case after church burnt down by suspected Hindu extremists

India: Police slow to register case after church burnt down by suspected Hindu extremists
A church in Puducherry in southern India was set ablaze recently, after upper-caste Hindu neighbours had objected to worship services in the area. Puducherry, formerly Pondicherry, was a French colonial settlement until 1954. Pastor David Santosham and members of the Bible Presbyterian church in Karaikal District left for home after . . . Read More

Ad in Vanity Fair tells #MeToo celebrities of women who suffer for their faith

Rebecca Bitrus was abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 and suffered because of her faith. (Photo credit: Claire Giangravé/Crux news agency)
An ad in the Italian edition of Vanity Fair has called for the global #MeToo campaign to include women who suffer violence because of their religion. The Vanity Fair ad includes an open letter to some of the actresses who spoke out as part of the #MeToo initiative, like Asia . . . Read More

India: 15 Christians accused of ‘conversion’ in Jharkhand

Seven Indian states have an “anti-conversion law”; the Hindu nationalist BJP is the ruling party in six of them. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Police in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand have arrested four and are investigating 11 other Christians on charges of conversion, reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The arrest of the four in the village of Podkher, Simdega district, on 29 May is the first reported case since Jharkhand introduced anti-conversion . . . Read More

Closure of India’s Emmanuel Mission office halts education of 74 children

Closure of India’s Emmanuel Mission office halts education of 74 children
Seventy-four children have had to leave their Christian-run hostel in India’s north-western state of Rajasthan, after the high court dismissed a petition challenging the child welfare committee’s seizure of the central office of Emmanuel Mission India. Emmanuel Mission International (EMI), founded in 1960 by Archbishop M.A. Thomas, is well-known in . . . Read More

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer
Amid growing extreme Hindu nationalism in India, dozens of speakers have called for concerted action to uphold the country’s constitution and fundamental rights, at a conference to mark four years of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “There is a grave threat to plurality,” Professor Ganesh Narayan Devy, a . . . Read More

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections

India: Catholics say BJP doctored letter to garner votes ahead of Karnataka elections
The Catholic Church in India has deplored a “fake” letter widely circulated in social and mainstream media alleging a Catholic conspiracy ahead of tomorrow’s elections in southern Karnataka state. “This is totally unacceptable. This is a blatant attempt to spread lies,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ . . . Read More

Report: UN weakness on religious freedom undercuts its authority on human rights

Dressed in the saffron colour, groups such these are promoting the nationalist cause for India to be a Hindu-nation. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN cannot strengthen, promote and protect human rights if it does not prioritise religious freedom, a report published by the Washington-based human rights alliance, ADF International has argued. The 73-page report, titled “Anti-Conversion Laws and the International Response”, claims that “some UN entities, especially special rapporteurs, have highlighted the . . . Read More