Attacks Blamed on Conversions to Christianity |

TBC Staff

Report in India Blames Attacks on Conversions to Christianity [Excerpts]

Christians in India’s southern state of Karnataka are preparing to file a court petition against a panel that blamed a series of anti-Christian attacks in 2008 on conversions from Hinduism.

In Mangalore, which bore the brunt of Hindu extremist attacks on churches in August-September 2008, Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of the Catholic Diocese said he intended to file a writ in the Karnataka High Court against the Justice B.K. Somashekhara Commission. In its Jan. 28 report on the violence, the commission absolved the state government, ruled by a Hindu nationalist party, of any responsibility in the violence.

Defending the state government and recommending the enactment of an “anti-conversion law,” the commission stated that an allegation of misuse of foreign funds for “mass conversions of innocent and helpless members of the society belonging to weaker sections ... is true.”

Dr. Sajan K. George of the Karnataka-based Global Council of Indian Christians called the report “a bundle of lies intended to mislead and confuse the people,” and Dr. John Dayal, a member of the government’s National Integration Council, said it “parroted” Hindu nationalists.

The more than 28 attacks in Karnataka in August-September 2008 were believed to be led by Hindu extremist groups, mainly the Bajrang Dal, close to the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. The violence was seen as fallout of a deadly spate of anti-Christian attacks in eastern Orissa state’s Kandhamal district, which killed about 100 people and burned thousands of houses and churches beginning in August 2008.

George told Compass the final report submitted to Karnataka’s Chief Minister was “completely contrary” to the commission’s interim report submitted last year, which pointed to the culpability of police officials, ruling party leaders and Hindu nationalist groups, including the Sriram Sene and Bajrang Dal.