State authorities seal three churches, order 13 others to get ‘worship license.’

NEW DELHI, September 10 (Compass Direct News) – As tensions continued in the eastern state of Orissa, Hindu nationalist groups intensified attacks on churches and Christian institutions in the southern state of Karnataka.

Hindu extremists launched attacks on churches and leveled false charges of “forcible” conversions against Christian workers as the Karnataka government, ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), prepared to close down churches.

Sajan K. George of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) told Compass that a mob of more than 200 people attacked the Mission Action Prayer Fellowship church in Bada village of Davangere district on Sunday (September 7), accusing the Christians of “forcible” conversions.

The attack took place during the worship service. Besides assaulting believers and the pastor, the mob burned the Bibles, musical instruments and furniture in front of the church. They also vandalized the church building.

Media accompanied the mob, and local TV channels telecast the attack, George added.

The Hindu daily reported that the incident occurred despite a government ban on the gathering of four or more people within a 200-meter radius of three other prayer halls in K.T.J. Nagar police station limits in Davangere town, “which have been under attack since mid-August.”

The police arrested 10 people for instigating the attack.

The daily also reported that extremists of a Hindu nationalist group, the Hindu Jagarana Vedike, carried out a procession the following day (September 9) demanding the immediate release of those arrested. The newspaper quoted the extremists as rationalizing their attack on the pretense of the alleged forcible conversions.

“Had the authorities been alert and not given room for forcible conversions, such incidents would not have happened,” one Hindu nationalist told the newspaper.

The state convener of the Hindu group, Jagadish Karanth, complained that missionaries from seven countries, including the United States, France and Germany, had been funding churches and pastors in Davangere to motivate people of other faiths to join their fold. He said he had documents to prove that a pastor had written to a Christian missionary saying he had converted 6,000 Hindus into Christians within just two years.


Bogus Worship License Requirement

George of the GCIC said the commissioner of Davangere City had issued notices to demolish three churches – Eternal Life Church, Divine Healing Ministry church and Jesus Prayer Hall – in the city, claiming that their buildings were illegal. The three churches have been sealed.

The order was issued because these churches were facing allegations of fraudulent conversions by the Hindu extremist Hindu Jagarana Vedike, according to The Indian Express newspaper, adding that the Davangere deputy commissioner labeled the churches “unauthorized.”

A representative of the Christian Legal Association (CLA) told Compass that the Davangere deputy commissioner had also sent notices dated Aug. 30 to 13 other churches asking them to obtain a “license” for holding worship services.

“This is a violation of the religious freedom enshrined in the Indian Constitution,” said the CLA source. “There is neither any such requirement anywhere in the country, nor is there any provision for such license in any government authority.”

The CLA representative also said Hindu extremists were going from village to village in Davangere to identify Christian houses.

“The extremists demand that some identity cards be shown to prove their religious affiliation,” said the representative. “Such a data can be extremely dangerous. We fear the Hindu groups may be planning organized attacks.”

Besides the collection of data by extremist groups, district authorities are also surveying churches.

On Sept. 8, The Hindu quoted Deputy Commissioner K. Amar Narayan as saying that he had instructed the police to conduct an area-wide survey of churches and prayer halls to check how many of them were “authorized.”

Asked if the survey would also be conducted on places of worship of other religious faiths, Narayan said that it would be “exclusively” on churches because of the present controversy surrounding them. He said the survey would be completed in two or three days.


Bogus Conversion Charges

Christians have been at the receiving end of a spate of “communally tinged” incidents in recent weeks in Karnataka, mainly in Davangere district, The Indian Express newspaper said on Monday (September 8).

The newspaper quoted Davangere Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil as saying that there had been allegations of forced conversions in the district for the last 12 months. Patil added that the police had identified 75 churches across villages in the district where security was enhanced.

Some police officers of the district told the newspaper that there was “nothing new” about allegations of “forced” conversions. “Maybe because the BJP is in power they are getting highlighted,” an assistant commissioner of police said.

The Indian Express also suggested that the recent spate of attacks was triggered by the state education ministry’s show-cause notices to over 2,000 Christian schools for staying shut on Aug. 29 to protest the violence against Christians in Orissa.

All Christian schools in the country remained closed on Aug. 29 to show solidarity with victims of anti-Christian violence in Orissa that started after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP) leader, Laxmanananda Saraswati, and four of his disciples were killed on August 23 in Kandhamal district. The VHP blamed local Christians for the assassination, though Maoists or extreme Marxists claimed responsibility for it. More than 56 people have been killed and hundreds of houses and churches burned in the violence.

The newspaper also pointed out that over the past two successive Sundays, police cases had been registered in Karnataka’s capital Bangalore against nearly 25 people, leading to the arrest of as many as 12, including a U.S. citizen, on charges of “promoting enmity between different religious groups” and “insulting religious feelings.”

Local police officers at Frazer Town and Ulsoor police stations, where cases had been registered, told the newspaper they had received complaints from members of Hindu groups alleging forcible conversions and use of inducements against the arrested persons.


Bogus ‘Communal Harmony’

The Hindu newspaper reported that Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who completed 100 days in office yesterday (Sept. 9), said that “all efforts would be made to maintain communal harmony.”

What communal harmony is for the chief minister, however, was clear when he told The Hindu, “The rule of law will prevail. Nobody has the right to indulge in forcible conversions, and inducement to pave the way for conversions is banned. However, I will direct the district officials and district in-charge ministers to ensure that such activities are kept under check.”

Yeddyurappa also claimed that there has been no communal clash in the state “for long,” and “we will maintain this record.”

“I call upon the people to refrain from paying heed to rumors which are aimed at fomenting trouble and tarnishing the image of the government,” he added.

According to a 2001 Census, Christians form less than 2 percent of the total population of 52.8 million in Karnataka.  

Report from Compass Direct News


  1. My previous comments remain current regarding those attacking Christians in India and those that support them.

    According to Udhay the cause of the persecution in India is Christians converting Indians to Christianity. Certainly that appears to be the case. However, the lies being invented by the persecuters and their supporters is that people are being bribed and forced to convert – this is not the case in the majority of those who are being converted (maybe it is so in some – I cannot say with any degree of certainty). No one is holding a gun to the head of Indians (tribals or lower caste people as they are described) to make them become Christians. Rather, Christians are showing kindness and generosity to these people – something which is generally not done by those who prefer to persecute them. The kindness and compassion supports the truth of the gospel, and it likely that these Indians who are being converted see that fact and are attracted to Christianity as a result.

    No one is ever forced to become a Christian by men – certainly the work of the Holy Spirit is such that He draws unbelievers to Himself (in this case Indians) and humanity is unable to resist the gracious overtures of the sovereign God.

    I do not deny, as is the case in the west, that a good number of these converts are not true Christians are deluded as regards their true position before God. This is something that they must address with God either in this life or in the life to come.

    Will Christians stop taking the good news of the gospel and of Jesus Christ to Indians because people are persecuting them in India or because others like Udhay say we should stop it. No. We have a commandment from the sovereign Lord to do so and therefore we must go with the gospel to unbelievers whereever they are and this is being done. It is being done in all lands, including those dominated by Muslims, Roman Catholics, Pagans, etc. It is already being done – not just in India.

    Believers expect to be persecuted by an ungodly world and what is happening in india is no surprise. We expect it to happen and it is. We call for it to stop, but if it doesn’t the gospel call will continue to go out until our sovereign Lord tells us to stop. At this stage we are to stop only when the current world ends and the new age is ushered in by the return of Jesus Christ. So we are to be obedient to him before all others, no matter the consequences.

    The gospel message coupled with ministries of mercy are being carried out in Africa and the other places mentioned by Udhay. I am astonished that Udhay wouldn’t already know this.

    Barbaric conversions – very strange comment. I would have thought the violence being meted out against Christians in India was barbaric. I would have though the way that lower caste Hindus are treated by the majority of Hindus was barbaric. Educating the people, providing health services and food – very barbaric (I think not – more like compassion and caring).

    The evils of Hinduism and those doing the persecution is the direct result of their own ungodliness and evil. They are to blame for what they are doing, no one else. The invention of lies to try and cover the ungodliness of their own hearts does not excuse them and one day they too will face the sovereign Lord and be made to give an account for what they are doing.

    Are you Udhay prepared for that day? Do you have a valid excuse for ignoring the claims of the Christian gospel and of Jesus Christ? No you do not. The persecuters can only retreat to their persecution to try and silence their accusing conscience and then to blame Christians for being the cause of it. What a pathetic and weak defence that is.

  2. Kev,
    When there is a problem you should see the cause. The cause of this problem is conversion. I am giving you a solution. Stop your conversions the problems will die as it came. Yes I am a supporter of India and not to a religion. Thousands of Christians are dying of hunger and poverty in Africa. Why cant you go and spend the money there. In US millions of Christians don’t have Basic medical facility. Come on help them. Instead don’t try to polarize our society. If you guts go to the Middle East and try your stupid, non-sense conversion tricks.

    I am not a supporter of killing humans. I am against violence as our Great Gandhiji has taught us. But you can keep converting innocent people for more that 300 years. I think its our duty to protect our religion and people from this barbaric conversions. Every religion /society has it own up and downs. Still there is racial discrimination in US and Europe. As time passes and India rises economically we will be able to get ride of our stupid caste system . But in the mean time dont try to divide us using your religion. Please allow us to leave in peace and we have only one country for us. Long live Bharat Matha.

    If you have the guts and if you are MAN , ask your christian missionaries to stop Conversions and give way for peace to pr evil.

  3. It is sad to see that VHP/ Bajrang Dal are getting the largest contributions(from famous companies also) from US. This money supplied from US is used to bring down Churches and attack tribals in India.

    The BJP, Bajrang Dal, RSS and VHP which are anti-christian are a bigger danger than terrorist organisations. They must be banned and their fund raising in western countries should be stopped.

    Everything should be done by western nations to stop atrocities agains Christians in India.

    Time to wake up and stand up to call of sane and secular Indians!

  4. The comments left by Udhay are those of someone who is a supporter of those doing the persecuting and show a person who has similar characteristics to those actually persecuting believers and others in India.

    They are people unable to accept the truth and people who invent lies to defend their own indefensible position and behaviour. They are compounding their own ungodliness through acts of ungodliness – nothing but intolerant and ungodly murderers and thugs!

  5. Please go through this site once before you people blame Hindus for our plight.

    Also Stop converting Hindus. The violence will automatically stop. Learn to respect the beliefs of the majority. I live in US and I respect the beliefs of the majority Christians there. Dont ever ever never think that you can become the majority in India by going on with your conversions.

  6. Where is the KRV. Our famous Karnataka and Kannada Rakshana Vedike. They are supposed to protect Kannadigas and their property and fight for their rights. Kannada churches and Kannadigas are being attacked by the north Indian communal forces such as Bajrang Dal. Why are the KRV keeping quiet. Are they planning to become HRV Hindu Rakshana Vedike to please the BJP and become a Hindu party,instead of saving Karnataka. The BJP are bringing all their election campaigners, Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS to Karnataka after they won elections here and, our local parties are losing their identities, and communal tension is on the rise in Karnataka, which is the BJP trademark in all states that they rule. They talk of national security, but kill the minority Indian citizens.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.