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Hindu mob attacks Christian women, police back mob

By Kevin Jess     Feb 16, 2011 in World
Davangere - Two Christian women were attacked by an angry Hindu mob in India after comforting a grieving neighbor who had lost her husband. One of the women was beaten, and both were detained by police.
The incident began when the two women, who are Jehovah's Witnesses were invited to the home of their neighbor in the city of Davangere, located in central India, on the morning of December 20, 2010.
According to a press release the women had known the neighbor for several years and were stopping by to share a positive message from the Bible after learning that her husband had recently died. After the neighbor had expressed gratitude for the visit the women left.
After leaving, the witnesses were confronted by a man who falsely accused the women of converting people to Christianity and threatened to make trouble for them.
Only minutes after returning to the home of one of the women a mob encircled her home led by the man who had originally threatened them. The mob forced their way into the home shouting obscenities at the women, calling one of them a prostitute and began to destroy their religious literature.
Female members of the mob were called in to beat the two women. They complied by beating one of the women and preventing the other from escaping.
Local police arrived at the home but did not attempt to disperse the mob. Instead they took the two women into custody and took them to the station for questioning. The women were forced to sign documents which they were not permitted to read and were charged with blasphemy.
One of the victims said, “During the entire incident the police made no effort to disperse the mob and restore public order. Our complaint was neither registered as a First Information Report nor recorded in the police diary; instead a Report was made using false information about what we said and did. Even when we were at the police station, the mob gathered and began to assault our friend who came to assist us.”
Hindu attacks against Christians in India seem sporadic but actually occur on a daily basis and go unreported due to fear of reprisals. According to Catholic Culture about a half dozen attacks were reported in December as some Christian denominations readied themselves for Christmas celebrations.
Central India is home to some of the poorest people in the country. Only about 2 percent of the population of India identifies themselves as Christian but about 25 percent of Central Indians identify themselves as such.
These attacks are both religiously and politically motivated says a UN Refugee Agency report that dates back to 1999. The report, entitled Politics by Other Means: Attacks Against Christians in India says "the communities affected represent some of the poorest in the country and include Dalits and members of local tribal communities, many of whom convert to Christianity to escape abuses under India’s caste system. In many cases, Christian institutions and individuals targeted were singled out for their role in promoting health, literacy, and economic independence among Dalit and tribal community members. A vested interest in keeping these communities in a state of economic dependency is a motivating factor in anti-Christian violence and propaganda."
More about Jehovah's Witnesses, Hindu, Blasphemy, India, Fundamentalist
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