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Benjamin Bull at the Christian Post: Although universal in nature, religious liberty is not universal in practice the world over. And a law designed to prevent conversions to Christianity in India is exhibit A for the truth that, in some countries, religion is but one more aspect of life controlled by government or ruthless factions that fear no government.
AP: Thousands of Kashmiri Muslims protested Friday against an anti-Islam film, burning U.S. flags and calling President Barack Obama a “terrorist,” while the top government cleric here reportedly demanded Americans leave the volatile Indian-controlled region immediately.
The Age: Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop has questioned whether the gender imbalance caused by the selective abortion of female foetuses could hinder the rise to affluence of China and India.
Alan Sears at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog: For years, under a law oddly-titled “The Freedom of Religion Act,” the province has required that anyone converting to Christianity (or any other faith) had to notify the local magistrate and have the decision made public record within 30 days. Anyone converting to Hinduism – or reverting back to that religion from a previous conversion – was exempt from this requirement.
The high court of India’s Himachal Pradesh province struck down legal provisions Thursday that had restricted Christian conversions. The provisions, part of the improperly named “Freedom of Religion Act,” required that a magistrate be notified of all religious conversions and that they be publicly recorded 30 days in advance.
Religion Clause Blog: Time reports that last Friday, in the Indian state of Gujarat a special court sentenced Maya Kodnani, the former state minister for women and child development, to 28 years in prison for her role in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre during which Hindus killed 96 Muslims as part of widespread Hindu-Muslim violence following the firebombing of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims.
Religion Clause Blog: In Evangelical Fellowship of India v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (HC Himachal Pradesh, Aug. 30, 2012), a 2-judge panel the High Court of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh struck down as unconstitutional provisions in Himachal Pradesh’s Freedom of Religion Act 2006 . . .
LifeNews: Increasingly we are learning about the deep-seeded prejudice against girls in some Asian countries. With an estimated 163 million women in Asia “missing” due to sex-selective abortion, which is equivalent to the entire female population of the United States, the lives of Asian women are getting worse not better.
Washington Post: More than 250 Pakistani Hindus have arrived in India over the past two weeks bearing tales of religious persecution, according to Indian border officials, fueling perceptions of growing discrimination against minorities in Pakistan.
The Hindu: India has sought strengthening of security around places of worship in the United States and urged Washington to come out with a strong message of reassurance to the Indian community following the Wisconsin gurdwara shooting that left six dead.
Christian Today: For months, a group of Hindu extremists in southern India had been blasting high-volume movie music at the prayer meetings of a local Christian ministry.
AP: An Indian court on Monday sentenced 21 Hindus to life imprisonment in the deaths of 11 members of a Muslim family during some of the country’s worst sectarian violence 10 years ago.
Catholic Culture: In an effort to stem the burgeoning conflict between Christian indigenous peoples and Muslim settlers in the eastern Indian province of Assam, Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon is calling for peace talks . . .
AP: Police say a communal clash between Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan and Hindus offering alms to one of their gods left one man dead and 20 injured, including policemen, in northern India.
LifeNews: Just another indication of how abortion has turned the world upside down. India is cracking down on doctors that tell parents the sex of their baby. Charges have been brought and a handful of doctors have been suspended for determining the sex of a fetus and disclosing that information to the parents, which is illegal in India.
LifeNews: First an Indian “gestational carrier” died in childbirth. Now, we learn that a 17-year-old Indian girl is dead after predators in the IVF industry allowed her to be hyper-ovulated for money three times in 18 months, and she was apparently convinced or coerced by her employer to sell her eggs
NY Daily News: A woman Congress legislator from Assam was thrashed by a mob at a hotel in Karimganj town late Friday night after she converted to Islam and married a Muslim friend, police said Saturday.
Christian Today: Christians are calling for a new law to bring in accountability and transparency in church property transactions. The All India Catholic Union (AICU), a representative of the Catholic laity, has reiterated its demand for a law to govern church properties spread across the country.
Catholic Culture: Some 50 Hindu extremists attacked a tiny Christian village in the eastern Indian state of Orissa on June 15, beating a Protestant pastor and 20 residents.
Life News: Two abortion practitioners who fed the bodies of girl babies killed in abortions to dogs to hide the sex-selection abortions they were performing have been charged with homicide. The charges are in connection with a legal abortion they performed that resulted in a woman’s death.
NY Times: The actor Aamir Khan opened a significant chapter in gender politics in the first episode of his show, “Satyamev Jayate” (Truth Triumphs), last month when he took on the topic of female feticide. Media coverage of the subject exploded afterward, highlighting India’s shocking record on female feticide — 10 million aborted over two decades, according to a 2006 study by the British medical journal The Lancet.
NY Daily News: British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his plans to make forced marriages a crime, and parents who coerce their children could face prison terms. British government provides advice and suport to approximately 600 forced marriage related cases every year – half of which are for families form Pakistan and the rest from India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Catholic Culture: Women in the Beed district of India’s central Maharashtra state have been forced to undergo abortions late in pregnancy when they were discovered to be carrying female babies, AsiaNews reports.
LifeNews: Two doctors who fed the bodies of aborted baby girls to dogs in order to hide cases of sex-selection abortions in India has been arrested.
AsiaNews.it: Main entrance burned, the rest preserved thanks to intervention of a security guard. Two assailants unknown. The pastor of Holy Family: “We are concerned, it is a premeditated attack.” The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) calls for the intervention of chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir to protect the Christian community in the state.
Religion Clause Blog: Last December, the government of India announced the creation of a 4.5% sub-quota for economically and socially disadvantaged non-Hindu minorities– Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians– within the existing 27% Other Backward Classes (OBC) set-asides for government jobs and education.
India Today: Some doctors in Beed are disposing of female foetuses by feeding them to dogs in order to destroy evidence of female foeticide.
India Today: Some doctors in Beed are disposing of female foetuses by feeding them to dogs in order to destroy evidence of female foeticide.
Religion Clause Blog: The Tribune (Chandigarh, India) reports that both houses of India’s Parliament this week passed a long-pending amendment to the Anand Karaj Act 1909 that will now allow separate registration of Sikh marriages solemnized under the Anand Karaj ritual.
One News Now: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has made progress in defending the rights of Christians in India. . . . “No one should be targeted for violence, inhuman treatment and religious discrimination simply because of their Christian faith,” [Benjamin] Bull contends. “The legal efforts of ADF in India are all designed to ensure that the religious freedoms protected in India’s constitution are upheld. Aggressors should not be allowed to get away with persecution by either disregarding the law or by attempting to pass laws that conflict with the constitution.” [more]
Legal Periodical: “Between Tradition and Progress: A Comparative Perspective on Polygamy in the United States and India”
Choudhury, Cyra Akila, Between Tradition and Progress: A Comparative Perspective on Polygamy in the United States and India (May 3, 2012). University of Colorado Law Review, Vol. 83, No. 4, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2050671
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Great Britain gave 166 million pounds ($268 million) to a government program in India that forcibly sterilizes poor women and men. The UK’s aid agency cited a need to address climate change by reducing population as a key reason to fund India’s abusive program, reports The Guardian.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Delegates at the UN witnessing the push to put population control in the Rio+20 document could take a warning coming from India, the nation who has implemented it zeaolously for decades.
NY Times: Three years ago, Salma Khatun’s husband divorced her in a fit of rage after a quarrel, pronouncing what is known as the triple talaq in the presence of witnesses. The triple talaq is a formula of repudiation. The first two times it is pronounced, it can be revoked, but the third time it makes a divorce binding, according to some interpretations of Islamic law.
LifeNews: A woman in India who was forced into six sex-selection abortions by family members obsessed with male babies is now using her experience to help other victims and prosecute doctors who illegally use ultrasounds to reveal the gender of an unborn child to a male-minded couple.
Examiner.com: In New Delhi, India, Islamic extremists storm a prayer meeting, resulting in the beating of a 65 year-old widow, another woman, and the mocking of attending Christians. This all happened less than a month after they helped drive a young woman out of her home and village for her faith, Compass Direct Reports.
NY Daily News: The Supreme Court Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of the right to education act that mandates unaided private schools keeping 25 percent of seats for students from economically and socially weaker sections of society.
Religion Clause Blog: Gulf Times reports that a court in the Indian state of Gujarat yesterday convicted 23 people in connection with the Ode village massacre that took place in 2002 as part of broader Hindu-Muslim religious riots set off after a train carrying 60 Hindu pilgrims was set on fire by a mob
News.va: Allegations of conversions and then violent beatings: is what the Hindu extremists of the movement RSS (“Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”, “National Volunteer Organization”) did against the Christian Protestant Pastor Mallikarjun Sangalada, 37, and other four Christians of his community.
Religion Clause Blog: The Indian government charged that Rabbi Zalman Bernstein did not declare on his visa application that he would be conducting religious activities and would be trying to convert foreigners.
BosNewsLife: Suspected Hindu militants broke up a Christian prayer meeting and forced two women leading the gathering to stop evangelizing in India’s southwestern state of Karnataka, as part of several attacks against devoted believers across the country, Christians told BosNewsLife Monday, March 12.
ZeeNews.India.com: “New Delhi: Contradicting its earlier stand, Government on Tuesday came out in support of decriminalisation of gay sex, drawing the ire of the Supreme Court which asked it not to make a “mockery” of the system.”
Religion Clause Blog: In the Indian city of Rajkot, a number of Hindu organizations, supported by both the Congress and BJP parties, have launched demonstrations to protest the arrest by local police of 37 people who displayed swords in a procession last week celebrating the Hindu festival of Maha Shivratri (The Night of Shiva).
Deccan Chronicle: The government is considering a change in the law to exclude the religion of individuals from marriage certificates. This follows demands by minority groups, including Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, now shown as Hindus in official documents.
NDTV.com: Homosexuality should be seen in the context of changing society as many things which were earlier unacceptable have become acceptable with passage of time, the Supreme Court observed on Thursday.
DNA India: Anti-gay rights groups, challenging legalisation of homosexual sex, were today asked by the Supreme Court to explain how such acts are against the order of nature as submitted by them.
Religion Clause: The High Court in the Indian state of Gujarat today ordered the state government to pay compensation to over 500 religious structures that were damaged in riots in 2002 . . .
Asia News: The attack on the colleges of St. Joseph Anegal (40 km south of Bangalore) occurred on January 27. Reason for the assault, failure to display the Indian flag during celebrations for the national holiday.
BBC News : UK author Sir Salman Rushdie says he is “sad for India” after threats of violence prevented him from addressing an Indian literary festival.
Religion Clause: In India last week, the Delhi High Court, in response to a complaint about the noise from loud speakers at a temple and a mosque, placed limits on use of sound amplification by houses of worship.
Independent: It’s a girl, a film being released this year, documents the practice of killing unwanted baby girls in South Asia. The trailer’s most chilling scene is one with an Indian woman who, unable to contain her laughter, confesses to having killed eight infant daughters.
Hindustan Times: Cases of Christians being attacked have more than doubled in the past three years in India with Karnataka and Orissa being the worst according to a report released by a Christian organisation on Wednesday. Maharashtra is among the ten worst states . . .
News from The Associated Press: Forty-two percent of children in India younger than 5 are underweight and nearly 60 percent are stunted, a new survey found.
LifeNews.com: On Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog, BreakPoint editor Gina Dalfonzo wrote a post about girls in India participating in a ceremony to rid themselves of names that mean “unwanted” in Hindi.
Religion Clause: The Times of India on Saturday reported on a case in which parents in Ahmedabad (in Gujarat state in India), unhappy with their daughter’s choice of husbands, are attempting to use Gujarat’s Freedom of Religion Act that aims at coerced conversions to undo or undercut the marriage.
Religion Clause: Over the last ten days, the press in India has been filled with commentary on the Indian government’s December 22 decision (CNN) to create a 4.5% sub-quota for economically and socially disadvantaged non-Hindu minorities– Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians– within the existing 27% Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota.
The Economist: Now, however, comes evidence that India may in fact be succeeding. In a pair of articles in the Indian Express, Surjit Bhalla, an economist, and Ravinder Kaur, a sociologist, use a different set of figures to get a different result. On the basis of the national sample surveys (NSS), they calculate that India’s sex ratio at birth swung from 924 females per 1,000 males in 2004-05 to 977 in 2011, a stunning turnaround in favour of girls.
Catholic Culture: Catholics in India’s troubled state of Orissa have been encouraged to celebrate Christmas “with prudence and vigilance,” and a local prelate has asked police for protection, because of new threats.
Religion Clause: In New Delhi, India yesterday, a court issued an ex parte restraining order requiring 22 social networking websites to remove videos, text and photos with anti-religious or anti-social content that promote hatred or communal disharmony.
ADF Attorney Benjamin Bull at Townhall : All Domenic Johansson really wants for Christmas is his life back . . . In this season, as so many of us are thinking – as we should – of the children who don’t have toys or a turkey for Christmas, let us also remember those children who long not just for something to eat or play with, but for the freedom to honor the deepest convictions of their souls.
LifeNews: The ABC 20/20 news story is riveting — a revealing look at why there are so many fewer women than men in India. Reporter Elizabeth Vargas traveled to India to bring this story of what is called “Gendercide” home to a stunned American audience.
Pamela Geller at Human Events: Harvard University has dropped courses on economics taught by a Hindu professor, Subramanian Swamy, president of the Janata Party of India and a former Union Cabinet minister—not because they were poorly taught, or because Swamy advocated discredited economic theories (such as, say, socialism), but because he wrote an editorial last summer that Muslims find offensive.
Catholic Culture: The All India Christian Council–an ecumenical organization that defends Christians’ religious freedom–is expressing concern about the implications of the arrest of Rev. C. M. Khanna, a Protestant pastor who baptized Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, a largely Muslim state.
India Classifies More Castes as ‘Backward’ In Affirmative-Action Bid to Help the Poor | WSJ.com (subscription)
WSJ.com: Decades ago, Siraj Gazi’s grandfather changed his last name of Chowduli to the higher-caste Gazi. He hoped it would erase the social stigma of his low-caste roots.
LifeSiteNews.com: The southern Indian state of Kerala might be the next in a long line of governments attempting to destroy their own greatest resource: their people.
Catholic Culture: Police in largely Muslim Jammu and Kashmir, India’s northernmost state, arrested Protestant pastor C.M. Khanna on November 19 on charges of fomenting religious enmity and converting Muslims through financial allurements.
The Times of India: The number of pregnancies terminated in south Mumbai is higher than in the rest of the city. While some health experts feel this could be a reflection of better access to healthcare in the city’s older and well-established parts, others were of the opinion that it could be an oblique indicator of gender-selected abortions.
Asia News: Activists of the Bajrang Dal (Hindu ultra-nationalist movement) have attacked members of two different Christian communities, engaged in a prayer service, accusing them of practicing forced conversions.