Hindu mob attacks Christian women
Last week, about three dozen Hindus in the small Indian village of Kilapal, Jagatsinghpur, Orissa, raided the homes of local Christian women and their pastor.

"The villagers came and dragged us out of the house," victim Shanti Tandi wept as she described the attack to the ANI news service. "Then they started beating us and cut our hair. They also pulled at our clothes and accused us of indulging in religious conversion."

That's a conversion from Hinduism to Christianity seven years ago. Manorama reports that "problems cropped up recently when a young man and two daughters of a villager evinced interest in Christianity and attended Sunday worship."

"The other villagers warned us that if we did not reconvert, we would face dire consequences," Nisha Samal, another victim, told Indo-Asian News Service. "They forcibly tonsured us."

The women initially said that the police wouldn't record their complaints, says IANS, but eventually warrants were issued against 35 people in the village of 500 (about 40 percent of the village's population are Dalits, as are all of the victims). Two have been arrested so far.

"Earlier this month, six women, including two 15 year-old girls were dragged out of their homes and were later tortured and tonsured for not reconverting to Hinduism from Christianity," ANI reports.

About 20 Christian residents have since fled the town.

It's an insane incident, but in India such matters are almost always followed by Hindu militants claiming that the Christians brought it on themselves. Sure enough, Subash Chouhan, leader of the Bajrang Dal—which arguably could be called a terrorist organization, but we'll leave it at "Hindu extremist group"—told IANS that "the incident proved that Christians ...

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Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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