Vishal Arora/Compass Direct News

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Despite Myanmar reforms, Christians on alert

KAREN STATE, Burma (BP) — Amid global euphoria over reforms in Burman-majority parts of Burma, life has changed little for 3 million-plus Christians and other minorities left to suffer from one of the world’s longest running civil wars. Headlines around the world hailed the May 2 induction of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi into […]

Islamic court in Kashmir targets Christians

NEW DELHI, India (BP) — Christian workers are fleeing India’s Kashmir Valley after a sharia (Islamic law) court rendered a “guilty verdict” against three Christian leaders and issued a fatwa against Christian schools in mid-December, according to a Jan. 20 Compass Direct News report. And a door-to-door campaign reportedly has been launched to bring converts […]

INDONESIA: More intolerance against Christians

NEW DELHI, India (BP) -- Acts of violence and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia nearly doubled in 2011, with an Islamist campaign to close down churches a key factor in the plight of the nation's religious minority.

Bhutan jails man over Christian films

NEW DELHI (BP)--A court in Bhutan has sentenced a Christian to three years in prison for "attempting to promote civil unrest" by screening films on Christianity in the predominantly Buddhist country.

In India, 1,000 attacks in 500 days

NEW DELHI (BP)–Minority Christians in India’s southern state of Karnataka are under an unprecedented wave of persecution, having faced more than 1,000 attacks in 500 days, according to an independent investigation by a former senior judge on the Karnataka High Court. The spate began on Sept. 14, 2008, when at least 12 churches were attacked […]

In India, Hindu extremism sharpens

PUNE, India (BP)--After more than a decade of severe persecution, India's Christian minority is growing increasingly concerned over the mushrooming of newer, more violent Hindu extremist groups.

Death threats buffet India prosecutions of Orissa strife

NEW DELHI (BP)--Nearly 11 months after an unprecedented wave of anti-Christian attacks shook the eastern-India state of Orissa, a reign of terror continues in the region, with former rioters issuing death threats to witnesses.       Of more than 750 cases filed in various police stations in Orissa's Kandhamal and Gajapati districts, only one has resulted in a conviction. Some trials are underway amid reports of armed extremists threatening to kill witnesses.       Dibya Paricha, a clergyman in the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Catholic Archdiocese, said several witnesses are shrinking away to save their lives. On July 9, a witness in the village of Salapsahi refused to testify in a murder case.       "During the trial, the complainant, the younger brother of the victim, said he did not know anything about the case," Paricha, coordinator of the Christian Legal Association's (CLA) legal cell in Kandhamal, told Compass Direct News. "The previous day, he had said that he would tell the truth so that the culprits would be punished.... From a reliable source, we came to know that he was threatened with death."       On June 30, three men carrying pistols -- Sanjeeb Pradhan, Bikram Pradhan and Pratap Pradhan -- threatened witnesses in the Gondaguda area of Kandhamal, Paricha said.       The three men have been issuing death threats to witnesses through area villages, he said.       "I know them [the three gunmen] personally," Paricha said. "They were living hand-to-mouth until recently, and now they are riding a motor vehicle and threatening the survivors."       Information on the threats has been provided to the sub-collector (an administrative officer in charge of a sub-district), the sub-divisional police officer and the district collector (administrative head), Paricha said, and a First Information Report has been registered at the local police station.       Another witness and complainant in an Orissa riot-related case, 55-year-old Batia Digal, was threatened June 17, Paricha said. Gobida Chandra Pradhan from the village of Piserama and Shricharnan Mohan Pradhan from the village of Dodaingia tried to pressure Digal to withdraw the case, in which a local legislator from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Manoj Pradhan, is one of the accused.

Tensions, attacks continue in India

NEW DELHI, India (BP)--After police in India’s state of Orissa confirmed Oct. 6 that a key Hindu nationalist was killed by Maoists, a Hindu extremist group allegedly circulated forged documents in an attempt to implicate a local church in the Aug. 23 murder.

Christians in India concerned about new anti-conversion law

NEW DELHI (BP)--The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in India's Gujarat state has implemented an "anti-conversion" law passed in 2003, increasing fears among Christians that it will open the door to false accusations by Hindu extremists.       India's Freedom of Religion Acts, referred to as anti-conversion laws, now have been implemented in five of India's 28 states. The laws seek to curb religious conversions made by "force," "fraud" or "allurement." But Christians and human rights groups say that in reality the laws obstruct conversion generally, as Hindu nationalists invoke them to harass Christian workers with spurious arrests and incarcerations.       Individuals convicted of "forced" conversion could receive up to three years in jail according to rules of implementation framed on April 1 for the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act of 2003, The Times of India reported.