Easter violence in India

Compass Direct: "Pastors beaten, churches vandalized as Hindu extremist mobs attack.

April 17 (Compass Direct) – As Christians around the globe intoned, “Christ is risen” with hallelujahs yesterday, Easter in India was marred by violence.

In the southern state of Karnataka, 15 Hindu extremists said to be from the Bajrang Dal (youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council) attacked a Sunday morning church service, assaulting Pastor V.P. Paulouse.

Speaking of the significance of Easter at the Believers’ Church in Bantaguri, in Mangalore district, Palouse received a head injury and fractures in both hands in the attack; his wife also was severely beaten, according to a local Christian who requested anonymity.

Ransacking the church hall, the attackers threatened to harm the Christians if they continued their prayer meetings, and they later damaged the pastor’s house and car.

The injured pastor was recovering from his injuries in a hospital at press time. The nearby Bantwal town police station filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the attackers, but no one had been arrested at press time.

Christians also believe that 25 to 30 people who stormed a prayer hall in Mangalore district’s Balmatta town on Easter Sunday belonged to the Bajrang Dal. The Hindu extremists vandalized furniture and equipment worth more than 150,000 rupees (US$3,327) at the hall belonging to the Living Faith Ministry. The incident took place at 3:45 p.m. in Balmatta town, near Shanthi Nilaya, served by the Kadri police station.

The Living Faith Ministry has been conducting regular prayer meetings in the area for more than six years. About 70 local Christians attend the meeting in the rented prayer hall."

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