Christians of India and the World Unite for Christ, and Protest against Persecution by certain extremist groups in all parts of India. Join the struggle of Christians who have been mute all these years to atrocities. Atrocities have been aimed specific against women and in particular, Religious and Nuns.

For the first time in the history of Christianity in India, and perhaps in the World, that Christians of all denominations and groups are united together under one banner and with one object, to protest the atrocities against Christians in India. There is abundant molestation of Christians, rape of religious nuns, Daliat Christians, priests and preachers have been murdered, others beaten and paraded naked in streets, yet the Government of India is silent on this. It is for this reason to bring awareness of everyone in Bangalore, India and the World to inform about the evil that is so rampant in India by a 'protest rally'. Join us Christians by voicing your protest against the atrocities, espically against religious sisters and lay people. Nuns have been threatened to be raped if they do not heed warnings distributed in unsigned circulars. Indian Christians, Protestants, Methodist, Pentacostal, Baptist, Church of North India, Roman Catholic Church, Catholic, Syrian, Lutheran, Mar Thoma, Church of South India, CSI, Anglican, Wesley, Assembly of God have joined together under one banner "All India United Christian Voice".

Christians of Bangalore to take out protest rally on 11th November 1998, against 'atrocities'

Extract from the Times of India, Bangalore Dated: November 8, 1998.

The All-India United Christian Voice will hold a protest rally at 11.30 a.m. on November.,11 at the St. Joseph's Indian High School Grounds to highlight atrocities against Christians allegedly by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in other parts of India and the Bajrang Dal in Kamataka.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, prominent Christians, including retired Director-General of Police F.T.R. Colaso, Rector of St Joseph's College Pradeep Sequiera and Administrator of St. John's Medical College Fr Joe Castalino, said that for about a year now, the Christian community was being targeted by these organisations for no apparent reason.

The rally will address the insecurity that the Christian community is feeling as a result of attacks on them including the gang-rape of four nuns in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh; destruction of a church in Gujarat; desecration of churches and sacred objects of worship at various places; attacks on Christian schools in Karnataka; murder of Christian priest in Bihar and false propaganda being spread against Christians.

Recently, the Mysore Diocesan. Educational Society (MDES) wrote to Kamataka Governor Khurshed Alam Khan about an incident on July 17, 1998, when the members of a particular community went to St. Mary's Convent school in Chamundipuram, Christ the King Convent, Lakshmipuram, Nirmala Convent, VY Mohalla, St Joseph's Convent, Bannimantap, in Mysore and distributed handbills to the staff and students.

The Carmel Convent School and St John's School in Mandya and St Agnes College also received similar letters.

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Christian Institutions Face Increasing Number of Atrocities and Dacoities in Northern India

Yesu Christ Convent of the Franciscan Clarist nuns at Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, 50 kilometres from New Delhi, was looted, the Chapel desecrated and several nuns, novices and lay teachers were beaten up in the early hours of Thursday, 24t-h September. An armed gang of men smashed tl-ie Tabernacle, threw the Hosts onto the floor and tore out the Cross from the Chapel wall. After beating up and disabling the security guard the armed men terrorised the 30 nuns, novices and women teachers for three hours. Contents of every single room had been turned upside down, almirahs broken open and the clothes of the inmates strewn on the floor. The dacoits took away Rs. 15,000 and a gold ornament from one of the staff members, locked up the nuns inside the Chapel and went way.

Police Inspector Bhagwan Singh Shrivastava, who is investigating the case together with a team of detectives and forensic experts, has assured the press that he was confident of nabbing the dacoits soon. The Inspector also said that despite the desecration carried out in the Chapel, he "did not think that this was a case of right-wing Hindu fundamentalist violence against the Christian community'.

The Franciscan Clarist nuns run a school in the Convent premises. From the fact that the nuns had drawn Rs. 15,000 from the Bank the previous day, the assumption of Inspector Shrivastava that robbery could be the only motive behind this assault gives credibility to his statement that there was no anti-Christian sentiment behind this dastardly crime. The nuns also have confirmed that there was no sexual harrassment of any of the inmates. The Police suspect that the dacoits might have had a contact man who knew details of the Convent. Forensic experts have lifted some finger prints and are expected to make some breakthrough shortly. Further details of the investigation are awaited.

Church attacked in Jhabua District: Four days after the 23rd September rape of four nuns at Navapora village, a Catholic Church at Jamli, 11 kilometres from Pillawad in Jhabua District, was attacked by some unidentified assailants. A group of five or six armed men broke into the church at about 9.00 p.m. and demanded money from the resident priest, Fr. Edward Sorrel, after cutting the telephone and electricity lines. Hearing the shouts of Fr. Sorrel several villagers came running in, and the assailants had no choice but to run away. A case has been registered at the Raipurya Police Station.

This is the third attack on nuns, churches and church pro erty in the area within a period of six days. A similar attack took place in the Asha Niketan church premises, Bhopal, where a group of Hindus broke the fencing of the church property alleging it to be an encroachment, though the civil authorities confirm that the property belongs to the Church.

Compiled from Press Reports

Catholic Union Denounces Bajarang Dal's Statement - "Missionaries Quit India">

All India Catholic Union in a statement expressed that it was extremely perturbed at the news item "Missionaries quit India: Bajarang Dal" published in the "Asian Age" on September 6. "We strongly denounce the statement. We are sure the honourable President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan and Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, as custodians of the rule of law and the secular constitution of pluralistic India, would also denounce in the strongest terms Bajarang Dal National convenor Surendra Kumar jain who wants to launch a 'Second Quit India Movement against the Christian community missions".

If the statement were not so full of malice and hatred, and so ill-informed on its facts, there would have been something ironic in the appropriation of the phrase Quit-India by the leader of an organisation which had had nothing to do with the Freedom struggle of the country and which entirely kept out of the mass movement of 1942 led by some of the greatest men of the present century, tallest among them the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the statement said.

The Bajarang Dal, together with its sister and fraternal organisations in the Parivar, is free in democratic India to pursue its deviant political thesis and practise its likes and dislikes. The statement further said they have no illusion about its agenda, hidden or out blatantly. in the open, as seen in their present statement, if it is the Dal's and the Parivar's thesis that they would be welcome to it. Such agenda is not shared by the vast majority of the secular Hindus of the country who are the Salt of the Earth and have helped nurture diverse faiths and philosophies on this common Motherland.

It is in the mythology of hate that the Dal invites the AICU's attention. As with its other friends, the Dal is assiduously building up a venomous environment against the minority communities in particular and other targets generally, on a ground of falsehood, fabricated history, concocted facts and a self deluding fiction which it takes to be its monopolistic culture. This culture excludes everyone but the Parivar from the heritage of our proud civilisation, which been enriched by the strands of many traditions, religions, languages and subcultures. It is, however, not for the Parivar and the Dal to arrogate to itself the patrimony or to distribute it as largesse or to define who is a good Indian and who is not.

And it is breaking the law with its libelous statements alleging drug links or extremist connections of the Christian community. The Christian community is the most peaceful in the country and extremist, secessionist and terrorist movement which plague various parts of the country, including Andhra, Punjab, Assam and Tamil Nadu, have nothing to do with religion. Unless of course the Dal wants to brand all communities, including the Hindus of Assam, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, as also anti-nationals.

And what does he mean by saying Christians have 'No moral right to stay in India'. "Whose India is he talking of. Not the one we were born in and which 2.6 crore Christians call home. Here, he lets the cat out of the bag when he speaks of the VHP's programmes in the tribal belt. There, in a simple stroke, "you have an example of cultural domination and robbing the indigenous people of the heritage. The Dal and the VHP would not brook any empowerment of the downtrodden in this country. This is what Dr. Jain really fears.

In recent months, the hapless Christian community,. together with the Muslims across the country, has been victim of a well planned campaign of violence by the members of the Parivar. Scores of incidents have taken place in the North East, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Rajasthan, Himachala Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, not to speak of the national capital, New Delhi. In Gujarat alone, the Catholic Union has documented almost forty separate cases of violence, all of which speak of a carefully thought out strategy to pressurise the minority communities of this country, The All India Catholic Union hoped the national government, the President, the Human Rights Commission for Minorities and the National Commission for Minorities would take appropriate action to preserve the unity, integrity and pluralistic character of this great nation.

Extract from a local Church Newsletter, quoting SAR News.

VISHWA Hindu Parishad Justifies Attack On Indian Nuns

An attempt is being made by the fanatic fringe in the Rashtriva Swaymsevak Sangh to virtually justify the savage attacks on minorities on the grounds that they represent 'anti-national forces' which are working against Hindu interests. This section has demanded that the Centre must throw out of the country those who 'tempt Hindus' to convert to Christianity and who through their schools spread anti-Hindu sentiments.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), an RSS outfit, today stated that the recent incidents of violence against Christian missionaries in jhabua in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Baghpat (in Uttar Pradesh) were the result of 'anger of patriotic Hindu youth against the anti-national forces'. Virtually justifying the attacks, the VHP has demanded that these missionaries be asked 'to pack up and leave the country'. This sharply worded statement against the missionaries comes at a time when the country has been shocked by the violence on them. In a statement, the VHP central secretary and former BJP Member of Parliament, Mr. Baikunth Lal Sharma Prem said that 'the assault on the missionaries in,Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, and the violence and loot against them in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, were the direct result of converting Hindus to Christianity by the Christian priests'. And as if to drive home his point, he also charged the Congress party government in Madhya Pradesh with being unnecessarily energetic' in dealing with the incident and 'giving it undue importance'. The VHP alleged that 'the Congress government is behaving as if India is still under colonial rule', In an aggressive and challenging tone, the statement virtually warned not only the missionaries but the Congress and other parties as well. 'They, the Congress party, may close its eyes to the black deeds of the missionaries, to their efforts to convert Hindus, but we in VHP will not shut our eyes to the black deeds of missionaries,' Mr. Sharma said. The VHP, is in fact the main stream organization for carrying forward the RSS ideology at the grassroots, from preparing the ground, testing the ideas, making them popular before the political wing, the BJP steps in. That is exactly what happened in the Babri Masjid - Ram temple controversy. It was the VHP which spear headed the agitation, got various Hindu priests together on a platform, built up the public mood, before the BJP stepped in to encash this as votes.

The VHP statement on Christian missionaries thus reflects the RSS view on the matter, for the RSS like the BJP has not yet given up its demand related to the Gynawapi mosque in Kashi (Benares) and Idgah in Mathura - that these should be handed over to 'Hinduus'.

Catholic Leaders Confront Advani With Press Report

The authoritative Indian newspaper The Hindu published from New Delhi and many southern cities, carried the following report in its edition of Tuesday, September 29, 1998. The RSS and the VHP are two wings of the Sangh Parivar or the Hindutva family of which the Bharatiya Janata Party, which now rules India and many of its states, is a part. The Christian confronted the Prime Minister and the Home Minister Mr. L.K. Advani, both of whom belong to BJP and asked them to denounce this statement. A delegation of Catholics consisting of Archbishop Alan De Lastic, President, Catholic Bishops Conference of India, Bishop Vincent Concessao ind John Dayal of the All India Catholic Union, confronted Advani with this report when they called him on September 28. Advani disowned the report, called VHP leader Ashok Singhal and told him to denounce the rape of Catholic nuns in Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, Advani also promised high level enquiries into the rape as well as into several earlier incidents of violence including the exhumation of a body in Kapadwani in Gujarat and burning of Bibles in Rajkot in the state of Gujarat.

Extracts from a Local Church Newsletter

All India United Christian Voice - Press Statement

In the light of recent incidents of targeted violence on the Christian community, it has become imperative to put in context the contributions they are making to the development in this great nation.

Historically the entry, of Christianity into this country 2000 years ago can be likened to the entry of Aryans into India. The motive, to spread the Gospel of peace. All these years they have coexisted peacefully adapting to the local culture.

For centuries Christians have tirelessly worked towards social reformation. The spread of education has been one of the most important contribution. Until the Missionaries came to India, education was the privilege of a select few. Benefit of the spread of education are being enjoyed in this country since then. Knowledge of English, the. linguafranca of the business and the scientific world has helped us stay on par with world standards.

For hundreds of years, Christian Missionaries have helped to eliminate several social evils. Many centuries ago, they worked selflessly among leprosy patients. Even in those days, they have contributed their mite - the eradication of social evils, like untoouchability and other practices against human dignity. All this, for the benefit of every section of society and the whole nation at large.

Needless to mention all the aid that has come in via the charitable missions has been invested and reinvested time and again for the betterment of the country and its people. (At no stage has there been any reparation of profits).

The gist of the argument is this, the feeling of Christians have been hurt by being referred as aliens/foreigners. The Christian presence has existed long enough in this country for it to be subsumed into the national ethos. At no stage have Christians excited any kind of divisive influence on this country. On the contrary, their attempt has always been to integrate.

Unfortunately, vested interests have nosy begun spreading poisonous propaganda against Christians. Side by side, a programmed vicious attack is being unleashed on the innocent under the guise of "Hindutva". Local terrorists gain the upper hand. What is horrifying is the tacit support they have been getting from certain political quarters. Some of the Leaders have revealed a liking of the Hitlerian (Semetic) model of a regimented society where certain races are sought to be forcibly eliminated. The fallacy of this approach is that it will never succeed in a multi-lingual society - like India. By declaring "Second Quitt India Movement" these Leaders have started a chain reaction of progressive destruction.

The irony of the situation is that Hindus have proved over the centuries to be the most tolerant Indians. It is also a fact that this disruptive tendency is only the characteristic of a negligible minority and does not find favour with the masses.

But the damage done affects us all. Much more than the throttling effect that their acts have on the social good. We would like to bring to the attention of the Government, political leaders and decision makers of the country, the issue of violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution to every citizen. The right to freedom envisaged in Article 19 of the Constitution is being infringed upon. Also being threatened is the right being guaranteed by Articles 28, 29and 30 of the Constitution to minorities to maintain their identity and control over curriculum in educational Institutions run by them.

Many are willing to die or kill for the sake of pleasing God, but few care to love and honour Him by the way they respond to their fellow human beings. Our foremost national epidemic is the growing cult of negativity and cynicism. The mystic of hate which disables us from participating constructively in the sacrament of nation building.

A dynamic spiritual culture of love that expresses through building up rather than tearing down in a pre-conditioned to human well being. Like the spiritual giants of the past who illumine the landscape of our country, we too need to go about doing good rather than plague ourselves in the waste of shame and futility.

In a democracy, the Press plays a vital role in ensuring that every minority community gets equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Thus the Press is urged to contribute to play a non-partisan role in bringing the truth to the public, without overly emphasising mistake of a few. The press must highlight the good being done by the Christians. Most importantly the Press must avoid reportage that lead to divisive tendencies.

After all, when the Press protects the interests of the minorities, there is no telling how much good this can do to the unity of this great country.

A few selected events of assault across India on Christians

  • Sept. 2, 1997, Dumka (Bihar) - RC Father Christudas assaulted, paraded naked.
  • Oct. 25, '98, Ludhiana (Punjab) - Prayer meeting disrupted by alleged VHP activists, six hurt in lathi-charge.
  • Oct. 27, '97, Hazaribagh (Bihar) - Father A.T. Thomas murdered.
  • Oct. 30, '97, Ojada (Guiarat): Armed men vandalise tribal Christian households.
  • Nov. 22, '97, Banswara (Rajasthan) - Series of attacks on parish members, written threats to rid the district of Christians in three years by alleged VHP activists.
  • Nov. 22, '97, Maram (Manipur) - Father Jose Nedumattahil, Principal of Don Bosco school, murdered.
  • Dec. '97 - Jan 1998, Ahwa-Dang (Gujarat) - Series of attacks on Christian tribals allegedly by Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad.
  • Jan. 6, '98, Bangaon (Bihar) - Father Villan Topno attacked seriously hurt.
  • In January 1998, Hingoli (Maharashtra) - Paul Nagendran and his team were beaten up. Nagendran lies paralysed.
  • Feb '98, Hansi (Haryana) - 200-year-old cemetery illegally occupied.
  • Feb. 15, '98 Latur (Maharashtra) - Alleged RSS workers attack Catholic Hospital Association of India camp.
  • 20 February, 1998 Erode (Tamil Nadu) - Bethany Fellowship church was destroyed and damaged all the properties.
  • Mar 13,'98, Khanvel (Dadra & Nagar Haveli) - Pilgrims attacked by Holi revellers.
  • Apr '98, Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) - Gipson's Central Baptist Church threatened with demolition by VHP activists.
  • Apr 3, '98 Baroda (Gujarat) - Christian convention at the polo grounds attacked.
  • Apr 11, '98, Palanpur (Gujarat) - Worshippers at prayer meet attacked on grounds of holding 'Jesus Mahotsav'.
  • April 11, 1998, Palanpur (Gujarat) - Angelos II the Music team of Inter Collegiate Prayer Fellowship was not allowed to perform.
  • Apr 16, '98, Naroda (Gujarat) - A 200-strong crowd led by alledged Bajrang Dal activists demolished a chapel.
  • May 5, '98 Koshippilly (Kerala) - 'Little Flower Church' vandalised, crucifix desecrated 10 May, 1998, (Mumbai) - 40 strong group disrupted the Sunday Worship in 4 churches.
  • May 15, '98 - Ranchi (Bihar) Brother Modestus Tirkey. headmaster of a Catholic School attacked.
  • June 11, '98 - Ambarnath (Maharashtra) - Alleged Shiv Sainiks assault Father Octavio Antony Nevis with iron bars.
  • June 16, '98 - (Maharashtra) - (FMPB) Christians were beaten by Sarpanch and houses were destroyed.
  • July 11,'98 - Bhind (Maharashtra) - two workers of FMPB were beaten.
  • July 18, '98 - Annaipalayam (Tamil Nadu) - Assemblies of God Church believers and workers were beaten up and materials looted.
  • July 25,'98 - (Gujarat) - Vishva Hindu Parishad activists exhumed a buried body of a Christian.
  • August' 98 - (Manipur).- Two Catholic priests manhandled by an Army Colonel.
  • September 22 '98 - In a most shocking incident in Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, four of our Religious Sisters were assaulted and gang-raped in the early hours.
  • September23 '98 - A crowd led by the BJP MLA Shailendra Pradhan attacked the parish house of Fr. Edward Sarel, about 10 kms. from Jhabua. 24 September '98 - a Clarist Convent in Baghpat (U.P.) was attacked.
  • 26 September '98 A statue of St Bernard was hacked and thrown out of the compound of Jesus & Mary College in New Delhi.
  • October 10 '98 - BJP Government's Home Minister has accused Mr. Houtsma of "Spreading superstition in our society" and violating the rules under Bombay Police Act by organising a Faith Healing session in Rajkot. Police had issued a show cause notice to the Faith Healer.
  • October30 '98- (Ayodhya) - The BJP dominated council of Ayodhya last week passed a resolution banning burial of the bodies within the municipal limits of this historic town.
  • Attack on delegates attending the National Christian Conference in Baroda during the 9th Leadership Conference from 27th October to 1st November 1998. They used sticks, belts, chains, and fists to mercilessly beat up the delegates as they were forced into the streets. Bibles and other personal documents were snatched from their hands. About 40 of those beaten up sustained injuries.

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