Category Archives: anti-Christian attacks

Desecration of heritage Crucifix in Mumbai prior to Narendra Modi’s rally

Slide1MUMBAI – A Jesus statue on a heritage Holy Cross dating back to 1880s was found vandalized and desecrated early on Sunday (15th December) morning around the wayside cross near Vile Parle (W), a western suburb of Mumbai city.

Mr Ashley, who lives in the near-by lane told The Christian Secular Forum that “the manner in which the Jesus statue was targeted made one suspect that it was a willful act.”

He pointed out to the dastardly way in which the hands and even fingers looked seemingly cut.
The police however have not drawn any conclusion yet and requested for some time.

A CSF member Renni, who was at the spot pointed out that “there is every possibility of fundamentalists trying to send a message to the Christian minority, who are sought to be brow-beaten.”

Slide2The local member of the legislative assembly (MLA), Krishna Hegde assured the CSF leaders that care would be taken to ensure communal harmony.

“We pointed out to him that since Narendra Modi was scheduled to address a huge rally on 22nd December 2013 in Mumbai, this could be misused by communal elements trying to fan up baser instincts,” cautioned the CSF General Secretary Joseph Dias.

Countering the story circulated by the local Police Mr Dias adds, “according to our investigations, there is a distinct possibility that that the intention was to create communal discord and it was not the work of thieves or drug addicts.”

Slide3Mr Dias insisted that, “there is no evidence to back their (police) version.”

The dismembered statue photographs reveal that an instrument could be used to break the Jesus statue.

An FIR was lodged in the Santa Cruz police station and the priests, with the parishioners of St. Francis Xavier Church, under whose jurisdiction the cross is venerated, took the remains of the statue to the church in procession and then handed it over to the police.

The CSF leaders demanded that “the police need to make an arrest and clarify what exactly happened. “

They fear that in view of the general and state elections being round the corner, there will be an increase in such attacks.

“We have called upon the police to step up vigilance and night patrol around the many crosses, as a precaution against such occurrences repeating,” said Mr Dias.

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Kandhamal Unresolved – Docufilm


KANDHAMAL, Odisha — It’s been five years since the communal violence unleashed on Christians in Kandhamal, Odisha (Orissa). Until now, peace and justice have been denied to the victims. Very few were arrested and even they have been released on bail and some of them been acquitted for lack of evidence.

The victims of communal violence are continued to be denied of peace/justice and a dignified living. “Kandhamal Unresolved” looks into the present situation of Kandhamal, especially the struggles of victims, denial of peace and justice, intimidation and hate campaign by Sangh Parivar and relationship between the Hindu Identity and the Dalit/Adivasi Identity. The film is now at Youtube.
You may click to watch:

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December 13, 2013 · 1:48 am

NHRC whitewashes Kandhamal

National-Human-Rights-CommissionNEW DELHI, (Anto Akkara) — The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), set up with the mandate to ensure ‘better protection of human rights’, was a beacon of hope to the victims of the post-Godhra carnage. However, it did not even issue a single press release on Kandhamal in five years.

Repeated efforts to get a response to this mysterious silence on the mayhem in Kandhamal evoked no response.  In fact, stunning was the ‘ENQUIRY REPORT’ submitted by the NHRC investigation team that made a clear attempt to whitewash the colossal human rights infringement in Kandhamal. The NHRC’s sweeping observation that “the relief camps have been well established” stood in stark contrast to the tell-tale reports of social action groups highlighting the deplorable state of affairs in the open-air refugee camps without even water supply and sanitation.

The NHRC investigation team seemed to have turned public relations agents for the beleaguered Odisha police. The insensitivity of the investigation team was reinforced in its reporting of the gang-rape and murder of a Hindu girl who had been burnt alive. “A twenty year-old late Rajani Majhi sacrificed her life to save the life of the children living in the orphanage …” remarked the NHRC investigators.  It is shocking that the NHRC failed to report or deliberately covered up the gang-rape and burning alive of a Hindu college girl – herself an orphan who looked after 22 young Hindu orphan boys at the Christian centre.

The white washing of the Kandhamal conflagration by the national human rights watchdog raises the question whose brief was it carrying out?

 Anto Akkara, Journalist author of ‘Kandhamal craves for Justice’

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‘Kandhamal Craves for Justice’

InvitationNEW DELHI — A new book entitled ‘Kandhamal Craves for Justice’ authored by journalist Anto Akkara packed with real-life stories, telling photos and incisive research inputs is due for release, 23rd August 2013.

Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice A P Shah released the explosive investigative book on Kandhamal and gave the first copy to AICC General Secretary Mr. Digvijaya Singh at Speaker’s Hall, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.

The book by award-winning journalist Anto Akkara raises uncomfortable questions on the justice delivery system and throws up vital leads about the murder shrouded in mystery that triggered the mayhem.

Five years into the orgy of violence and deprivation, the journalist author calls for national attention into the travesty of justice in Kandhamal demanding answers to unanswered questions like:
Was there a bigger conspiracy behind the murder in the jungle?
How did the mighty arms of the Secular Democratic Republic of India respond to the challenge?
Did the judicial system falter in delivering justice?
Why did the national human rights watchdog remain silent on the blatant human right abuses in Kandhamal?

Earlier Akkara stirred the national conscience with his investigative book ‘Kandhamal – a blot on Indian Secularism’. Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar described it as ‘a must-read book’ at its launch in New Delhi in April 2009. Justice M F Saldana commented at the release in Bangalore that given the objectivity of the book, it should be treated as an ‘official report’ on the Kandhamal violence and urged the government to act on it.
Late K G Kannabiran, president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, hailed the book as ‘a charge-sheet on Kandhamal’ during the launch in Hyderabad.
Home Minister P Chidambaram who visited Kandhamal soon after receiving the book from the author told the Parliament on July 15, 2009 that what had happened in Kandhamal was ‘a blot on the face of Orissa’ – quoting the title of the book.
Armed with post graduate diploma in journalism and LL.B from Delhi University, Anto Akkara has been a journalist with international media for over two decades. The author has reported extensively from hotspots in South Asia on human rights, religious issues and social problems, winning a dozen national and international media awards in the process.
91.9958602840, 9448383350, 9343501214


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Facing boycott, claim tribal Christians

Paghar xtiansPALGHAR, Maharashtra, (Dr. John Dayal) — For over 10 days, a torn Bible and a damaged harmonium have been lying in a makeshift prayer hall which villagers now take turn to guard—just the way the attackers had left them on December 30 (2012). Although the anger has subsided, the tribals are unable to muster courage to resume their Sunday prayer service.

The tribal Christians of Tamsai village in Palghar claim that the makeshift prayer hall was attacked after the gram panchayat threatened them to stop the prayer service or else “face the consequences”. They allege that the villagers who attacked them were “angered” by the spread of Christianity.

While the Palghar Superintendent of Police claimed it was an internal fight among villagers without any communal motive, the sarpanch of the gram panchayat denied having made any threat of a social boycott.

According to the victims, the attackers were from their own village and from neighbouring villages. “Most of them are known to us,” claimed Raju Bhoir. The victims said they were carrying out their regular Sunday worship service when a few village men came and stopped the prayers. The tribals, who insist that they have not converted into Christianity but merely follow the path of Jesus, have been carrying out prayer services for the last three years.

Bharat Patil, 22, who has “dedicated” himself to religious work says that the panchayat has unanimously decided to boycott those who accepted Christianity. “They have decided to deny us water and firewood if we stay converted. We have been trying to convince them that our documents still remain the same. We have just chosen a newer way of life without undergoing any sort of conversion,” he said.

Superintendent of Police (Palghar) Anil Kumbhare said: “The village has seen several outsiders regularly visiting them and preaching Christianity. On that day, too, some people had come and it led to an internal fight.”

According to the tribal Christians, the gram panchayat has denied them access to village wells and firewood. “We were thrashed. They walked in while the prayer was on. Many women were also attacked,” said Sainath Amboravate whose family embraced Christianity a decade ago and who now works as a preacher.

Disruption caused during the Sunday morning prayers on December 30 has shaken the villagers in Tamsai and Pochade.

“When those men came, we called the local police immediately. Police arrived, too. But no one helped. We are afraid that these people might strike back,” said Patil.

“Around 300 people come to our village every Sunday for prayers. We had just gathered when these men barged in and began damaging the musical instruments. A copy of the Bible was torn. About 25 of the worshippers sustained injuries and had to be treated,” Patil claimed. “We have given the names of those who attacked us but the police have not taken any action,” said Bhoir.

“It was an internal fight and was resolved on the same day. We have recorded their statements,” said Senior Police Inspector of Manor Vijay Pawar.

Village sarpanch Kailash Andher claimed that it was a “petty quarrel” among a few villagers and was not communal in nature. “It was a small fracas and was resolved immediately,” he said.

A group of villagers on Thursday (10 Jan) met former president of the Indian Christian Voice Dr. Abraham Mathai. “The tribal Christians from Mokhada, Wada, Vikramgarg and now Palghar have continued to suffer from a spate of attacks perpetrated by extremist elements because of the communal bias of the police. It is most shocking when these poor tribals are attacked in the presence of the police,” Mathai said.

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Faith stories from Kandhamal released

cardinal releases book with arbp thazhathKOCHI, ( Adv. Jose Vithayathil) — Major archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry released  the Malayalam translation of the English book ‘Early Christians of 21st century – stories of incredible Christian witness from Kandhamal jungles’ in Orissa at the Kerala Catholic Council assembly in Kochi on December 11.

The 75,000 word book, authored by journalist Anto Akkara and is being translated into French, is a collection over of 100 stories amazing witness to the Christian faith amid brutal persecution of poor but valiant Christians and has been translated by Fr Dr. Devassy Panthallookaran, former principal of St Thomas College, Thrissur.

Cardinal Alencherry released the book in the presence over 100 top Kerala church leaders including three dozen bishops by handing over the first copy to archbishop Andrews Thazhath, president of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC).

malayalam book cover“I congratulate Anto (Akkara) for bringing to the attention of the world the sufferings and unwavering faith of the persecuted Christians of Kandhamal, going beyond his role as a journalist,” said Cardinal Alencherry while releasing the book. In his additional foreword to  the book (apart from the one from Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India),  Major archbishop Cardinal Alencherry, head of the Syro Malabar  church  has described the book as ‘a testimonial for martyrs’.

“This is an inspiring book in the year of Faith,” remarked archbishop Thazhath, head of the Kerala church, during the release at the headquayPastotrheld .

Orthodox bishop Gabriel mar Gregorios, president of Kerala Council of Churches (that comprises of all major non-Catholic churches in the Christian heartland of Kerala), in his tribute to the book has described it as ‘a book that every Christian must read’.

Akkara in his response said that though he visited Kandhamal initially as a journalist to report from the ground zero, it was the incredible faith of the valiant Christians who remained firm in their faith despite untold suffering that forced him to make arduous trips to Kandhamal repeatedly for five years since Christmas 2007.

“I have tried to document truthfully their incredible faith, pains and sufferings in words and pictures,” said the photo journalist author who added that more than 100 Christians died for their faith in Kandhamal while 300 churches and 6,000 Christian houses were looted, torched or destroyed rendering more than 56,000  people homeless.

The Malayalam translation of the book is published by Veritas India Books, a new publishing firm based in Thrissur.

Adv. Jose Vithayathtil
Secretary, Laity Commission, KCBC
Contact: 9447027145

(Akkara had earlier authored two books, ‘Kandhamal – a blot on Indian Secularism’ – investigative book that stirred national conscience on Kandhamal in April 2009, and later ‘Shining Faith in Kandhamal’)

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Rape as a weapon

While going through the latest ‘tale of two rapes’, I thought I should share my finding ‘Rape as a weapon’ andPregnant mothers and infants pay a heavy price’ (from my forthcoming international book on Kandhamal. The info may be shocking. But that is the sad reality of Kandhamal. Anto Akkara

Rape as a weapon

Sexual violence against women has been used as a weapon in areas of ethnic oppression and conflict. Kandhamal was no exception.

“There are several other reports of sexual assault and molestation and it is highly likely that many other such cases have gone unreported due to the shame attached,” warned the study ‘Genocide in Kandhamal’ by the Human Rights Law Network. The legal action group in its study released before the end of 2008 – one of the first studies on the Kandhamal carnage and mayhem – expressed this fear after elaborating on the rape of the young Catholic nun in public. (For raped nun, Jesus is ‘alive on the Cross’ on page 48.)

“Once termed ‘a fate worse than death’ the future of a raped a woman is one of isolation and stigma even amongst her own community and sympathisers.”[1]

The fear expressed by ‘Genocide in Kandhamal’ report was confirmed by the ‘Study of the Conditions of Women Affected by Communal Violence in Kandhamal District, Orissa, by the Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work in Mumbai, in 2009. The study confirmed at least 16 more rapes during the anti-Christian violence apart from the three rapes that have been recounted in this book: rape of Priyatama Digal (Go to Cost of faith – sadistic killing of Christians on page 22), Rajani Mahji who was gangraped and torched alive (Go to Miraculous survival of priest from torched alive on page 34) and the rape of the Catholic nun. (Go to For raped nun, Jesus is ‘alive on the Cross’ on page 48.)

These 16 rapes came to light from the random survey conducted by the Nirmala Niketan students among 355 women from 68 of the 415 villages that were affected by the violence. This study also pointed out that “it is highly likely that many other such cases have gone unreported due to the shame attached (to rape).”

On the ‘physical and sexual abuse of women and young girls’, the Nirmala Niketan report said: “A lack of security meant that they were beaten up, threatened and verbally abused by the men, they were harassed while filling water, younger girls were sexually exploited by policemen while they were bathing and nuns were harassed. Two instances of rape of girls were mentioned. In one case the girl, currently in hospital, attempted suicide by burning herself and the other girl had become pregnant after being raped and the police were trying to take advantage of her.”[2]

Among 60 women respondents who were interviewed by the research team of Department of Outreach, LoyolaCollege in Chennai, at least two women confirmed that they had been gangraped while 10 women indicated that they were sexually violated.[3]

But sadly, except for the rape of the young Catholic nun in the presence of a mob and the rape of the Hindu girl, that is narrated next, no rape case has been registered with the police as the victims dreaded being branded as a ‘rape victim’.

Pregnant mothers and infants pay a heavy price

The expulsion of the Christians from their native villages in Kandhamal led to another silent tragedy.  If over a hundred Christians had perished in the orchestrated violence, many more young lives were snuffed out as a result of the massive displacement.

Kandhamal’s Forgotten Children’, a study by Haq – a child rights group based in New Delhi, brought out this silent tragedy that unfolded in Kandhamal due to thousands of Christian families languishing in dingy refugee camps and in no-man’s areas on empty stomachs.

The sudden spurt in stillbirths, witnessed in Kandhamal, was the outcome of the distress pregnant women underwent during months of fleeing and malnourishment in the refugee camps.

There were also dozens of cases of miscarriages, premature deliveries, forced abortions and even deaths of two pregnant women in the refugee camps as no assistance was available to pregnant women during delivery in the refugee camps.

From stillbirths to infant mortality rate, the figures shot up in Kandhamal as a result of displacement of 56,000 Christians who were rendered homeless in the orchestrated violence and had to take shelter in dingy refugee camps.

Infant deaths shot up suddenly from 603 in 2007-8 to 837 in 2008-9 – an increase of 234 during the period. The fact that this figure declined to 750 in 2009-10 further confirmed that infants had to pay a heavy price – perhaps much higher than the adults as a result of the orchestrated violence.

The IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) in Nuagam block – one of the worst affected areas – also shot up from 37 in 2007 to 88 in 2008.

The sharp deterioration in child health status in Kandhamal following the violence, the study pointed out, was in areas worst affected and rooted in the widespread violence and displacement.[5]

This debilitating impact of the anti-Christian violence on the infants also fetched another ignominy for Kandhamal as the district with the highest under-five child mortality rate in the country. For every 1,000 children born in the district, 145 died before the age of five, declared the Annual Health Survey Bulletin of India that was released in August 2011.

[1]Genocide in Kandhamal’, page 9
[2]Study of the Conditions of Women Affected by Communal Violence in Kandhamal District, Orissa’, page  83
[3]  Loyola College Study 2 on Kandhamal – Impact on Women, page  64
[4] ‘Waiting for Justice – a  report of National People’s Tribunal on Kandhamal’, pages 66-67
[5] ‘Kandhamal’s Forgotten Children’, page 32

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‘Christian persecution an exaggeration’ says Kerala Archbishop
By Philip Mathew, Bangalore

Major abp Cleemis

NEW DELHI, (Dr. John Dayal) – The Major Archbishop is right, of course, if he is referring to the Kerala experience. In Kerala there is no persecution other than Love Jihad.

The threats in Kerala, as exemplified by the Catholic Media and the heads of the churches in the recent past, are:

1. the communists

2. the Muslims who indulge in love jihad and entice Catholic girls

2. The Muslims who are rapidly increasing in numbers and will overtake, if not overwhelm, the Catholic and Christian population and to counter which the Catholics, specially, have to produce more children.

Muslims are also an issue in theKashmirvalley where the extremist groups are persecuting the Christian micro-minority.

Unfortunately, Christian persecution at the hands of the HIndutva extremists remains a problem in as many as 14 States where the so-called “sporadic violence” continues on a  daily basis. Even Kerala’s neighbor, Karnataka, registers hundreds of cases every year – far from sporadic.

People have to visit Kandhamal to realise what violence is and what terror means to the Faith.

And of course, there is state persecution, of which the Dalit Christians will tell you more. And  the so called Freedom of Religion Bills. A church really involved in evangelization, and in dialogue of life with the people of all faiths, will be able to speak of it more

By the way, the USA and many countries of Europe are deeply concerned at the erosion of Freedom of Faith by governments and fundamentalist groups inIndia. The US has once again put India on the Watch List.

It is no one’s case that every Hindu is a terrorist and persecutor.

And even the Kerala church will not say every Muslim is a love Jehadi.

The vast majority of Hindus, as the vast majority of Muslims, is a peaceful lot. It is the one per cent lunatic fringe, as a prime minister once said, which causes the bloodshed and terror. But the one per cent of a billion Hindus is a very large number. These lunatics have to be exposed, and controlled.

God bless us all.
John Dayal

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West Bengal: Radical Islamists physically abuse Christians in Murshidabad

Bengal map with Murshidabad dist in red

MURSHIDABAD – On 30th March, 2012, radical Islamist forcibly entered a Christian home in Nutangram,West Bengal where a group of Christians were gathered and physically assaulted them and disgraced them in public.

Mr. Gaffar Shaike and his wife, had invited their Christian friends over to their place for lunch and prayer on the 30th March, 2012, in Nuntangram village, Murshidabad district, inWest Bengal. Shortly after lunch while they were they were having a time of fellowship and prayer a group of radical Islamists stormed in the house of Mr. Shaike and inflicted grave injuries on 3 of those gathered. The victims are Mr. Aimazan Bibi, Ms. Moyazan Bibi and Ms. Selina Bibi.

The Christian victims were then chased out of Mr. Shaike’s house and on to the streets where they became a sight of public amusement for a large crowd of about 500 Muslims, who simply watched on as the victims were chased around and verbally and even physically abused by the radicals who were armed with knives.

The radical group are believed to be led by Mr. Mohammed Aanu Shaike, who is notorious for publicly decrying against Christians even to the extent of publicly torturing them for their faith.

A case was filed later in the evening by some Christians at the Murshidabad Police station, in Nutangram village, but so far no arrests have been made.

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Christians Continue to be targeted in Kandhamal

file photo

KANDHAMAL, (Br. K.J. Markose) – It happened on 10th August 2011, at about 6 am, at village Banjamaha (about 7 kilometres from Raikia). Being the season of cultivation most people of the village were away in fields…
Mr Abedana Pradhan S/o Dussasana Pradhan, armed with a khanta (sword) came to the house of Mithu Digal. He shouted at Rebika digal, W/o Mithu digal.
“Where is your husband? I will cut (kill) him.”
Rebika got frightened and kept quiet.
After looking around furiously and finding that Mithu was not around Abedan left the place.

About an hour later, Abedana came back to the house of Mithu in rage holding the sword and shouting that he would kill Mithu and break down the house of Mithu.

He trespassed into the house of Mithu and ransacked and broke down all articles in the house. After this he went away.

In the evening at about 4 pm when Mithu returned home from work in the forest.

Both Mithu and his wife Rebika met the ward member (Mr Sanatana Bindhani) and apprised him of the incident of the morning.  The ward member called the accused and asked him to sit for a village panchayat (meeting of elders) to discuss the matter and settle the dispute. But he refused.

So on the next day Rebika filed complaint at Raikia police station. The police station officer has not made the complaint into FIR.

Abedana is a Hindu and Mithu is Christian by faith.
According to pastor Sunil Parichha (9438257499) Banjamaha is the village where pastor Saula Pradhan was killed by two Hindu friends on 10th January 2011. Police did not register a case of murder against the killers and did not arrest accused persons.

This situation is very alarming especially when the third anniversary of Kandhamal anti-Christian progrom si approaching.

It is alleged that the strident Hindu fanatics in Kandhamal district are getting indirect support to continue intimidate and harm Christians with no consequence.

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