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MINORITIES: CHRISTIANS-2012 - Indian Social Institute

MINORITIES: CHRISTIANS-2012 - Indian Social Institute

MINORITIES: CHRISTIANS-2012 - Indian Social

MINORITIES: CHRISTIANS-2012 January to December – 2012 Compiled By K. Samu Human Rights Documentation, Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 009, (India) Secular groups protest against attack on Haleynagadi church (7) MANGALORE: Members of the Hebron Assembly Pentecostal Church in Haleyangadi, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV), the Karnataka Missions Network and other Christian groups took out a rally and staged a protest at Haleyangady on Sunday against the attack on the church on December 28. Surathkal Sub-Inspector of Police Sunil B. Patil told The Hindu that around 200 people participated in the protest. Holding black flags and shouting slogans against “communal” and “anti-social elements”, the protesters marched from the church off the National Highway 66 to the Haleyangady Gram Panchayat and returned. A public meeting was organised during which protesters sat near the highway in front of the church. Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike Udupi district unit president G. Rajashekhar said that there was a historical context to the violence against Christians. In the 1990s, Christians were attacked in the Dangs district of Gujarat, followed by violence in Jabua, the burning of Australian Graham Staines and his two children in Odisha, and the Kandhamal violence and the church attacks in Karnataka. Mr. Rajashekhar said the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party and violence against Christians was “interlinked”. Not only Christians, but even Muslims were targeted. Recently in Udupi, a group of Muslim clerics who were here to attend a programme in Kodavoor in Udupi district had been harassed by a group of around 250 right-wing people by calling them “terrorists” and asking them for identity proof. Karnataka Missions Network president Walter Maben said that Christians would respond to such violence within the framework of the Constitution. Louis Lobo of the International Federation of Karnataka Christian Organisations said that although the members of the church should have been celebrating the New Year with their families, they were protesting on the street against targeted violence. Pastor of the Hebron Assembly I.D. Prasanna said the accused should be caught. (The Hindu 2/1/12) Opposition to church: Protest against arrest of villagers (7) Udhagamandalam, January 7, 2012: Hundreds of men, women and children, mostly Badagas, across the district gathered here on Saturday to condemn Friday's arrest of 18 persons including five women at B. Manihatty village, a predominantly Badaga hamlet. The arrests were made following a row over a move by L. Moorthy, who lives in B. Manihatty, to construct a church in the village. The matter took a violent turn, and ended up in his house getting attacked. The protest gathering was attended by prominent members of the community including T.M. Kulla Gowder, who addressed the gathering. Later, they took out a procession and submitted memorandums to the district administration and the police. Demanding the unconditional release of all those arrested, they said the authorities should ensure that activities like construction of churches or religious propaganda did not take place in Badaga villages. Appropriate action should be taken against police officers who had allegedly mishandled the situation in B. Manihatty and created a law and order problem, the protestors said. Police pickets posted in the village should be withdrawn immediately. Suitable action should also be taken against those denigrating the culture of the Badagas, they said. In view of the villagers congregating here, security has been beefed up. Speaking to The Hindu,the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Coimbatore Range, H.M. Jayaram said additional strength had been brought from the plains. Describing the developments on Friday as “unfortunate”, he said they should not have been allowed to take place. To a question, he said from the police's point of view, it was a social problem and had nothing to do with law and order. Since those on either side of the divide belonged to the same community, it was also not a communal problem. (The Hindu 8/1/12) Christians fleeing attacks in northern Nigeria, 37 killed (7) Maiduguri: Hundreds of Christians have begun to flee northern Nigeria after dozens were killed in a series of attacks by Islamist militants who issued an ultimatum to Christians to leave the mainly Muslim region or be killed, witnesses said on Saturday. A Nigerian newspaper on Tuesday published a warning from

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