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India: Protestant ministers arrested after Hindus disrupt assembly

August 16, 2010

Two Protestant ministers spent India’s independence day in prison after a clash with fundamentalists in the southern Karnataka state.

The Global Council of Indian Christians charges that two ministers of the Campus Crusade for Christ and 10 others were detained by the police in the Mandya district. They had been conducting a prayer service on August 15, the national holiday, when their meeting was disrupted by a group of about 30 Hindu militants. Rather than arresting the Hindus who disrupted the religious assembly, local official brought charges against the Protestant leaders for alleged violations of the law that restricts religious conversions. Police soon released the 10 Christian laymen, but kept the ministers in custody.

The Karnataka state is under the political leadership of the Hindu-nationalist BJP party, and members of the Christian minority have frequently complained that officials make no effort to restrain Hindu zealots from violence. There have been over 200 attacks on Christians recorded in the state since the BJP took power in May 2008.


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