Violence and Christians

A Christian in her burned home in the Indian state of Orissa.

There are further reports of attacks on Christians:

AFP reports Iraq pours in police to protect Christians:

"Two (national police) brigades were sent to Christian areas in Mosul and churches were surrounded and put under tight security," interior ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf told AFP.

He said the reinforcements had been deployed from midnight in the restive northern city, considered by US and Iraqi commanders as the last urban stronghold of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Khalaf added that two investigation teams, one security and the other criminal, had also been deployed to probe a spate of attacks on Christians in Mosul since September 28, in which at least 11 people have been killed.

An AFP correspondent said police had set up checkpoints at churches in the city's four heavily Christian areas and were patrolling the streets on foot.

Nearly 1,000 Christian families have fled their homes in the city since Friday, taking shelter on the northern and eastern fringes of Nineveh province, according to provincial governor Duraid Kashmula.

There have been some arrests (CNN).

National Public Radio reports that the Christian response in some parts of Iraq has been to establish their own militias.
Many residents are delighted to see Christians standing up to defend themselves.
Some, however, worry about the political implications of this latest sectarian
armed force in Iraq and wonder where its money is coming from.

The New York Times has: Hindu Threat to Christians: Convert or Flee

The family of Solomon Digal was summoned by neighbors to what serves as a public
square in front of the village tea shop.

They were ordered to get on their knees and bow before the portrait of a Hindu
preacher. They were told to turn over their Bibles, hymnals and the two brightly
colored calendar images of Christ that hung on their wall. Then, Mr. Digal, 45,
a Christian since childhood, was forced to watch his Hindu neighbors set the
items on fire.

“ ‘Embrace Hinduism, and your house will not be demolished,’ ” Mr. Digal recalled being told on that Wednesday afternoon in September. “ ‘Otherwise, you will be killed, or you will be thrown out of the village.’ ”

There have been attacks on Christians in at least five States over the last six weeks.
The clash of faiths has cut a wide swath of panic and destruction through these
once quiet hamlets fed by paddy fields and jackfruit trees. Here in Kandhamal,
the district that has seen the greatest violence, more than 30 people have been
killed, 3,000 homes burned and over 130 churches destroyed, including the
tin-roofed Baptist prayer hall where the Digals worshiped. Today it is a heap of
rubble on an empty field, where cows blithely graze.

And Human Rights Watch has a longer perspective, associating the rise of attacks with the BJP rule from 1998.
Attacks against Christians throughout the country have increased significantly
since the BJP began its rule at the center in March 1998. They include the
killings of priests, the raping of nuns, and the physical destruction of
Christian institutions, schools, churches, colleges, and cemeteries. Thousands
of Christians have also been forced to convert to Hinduism. The report concludes
that as with attacks against Muslims in 1992 and 1993, attacks against
Christians are part of a concerted campaign of right-wing Hindu organizations,
collectively called the sangh parivar, to promote and exploit communal clashes
to increase their political power-base. The movement is supported at the local
level by militant groups who operate with impunity.

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