DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS Christians told after carollers ATTACKED for ‘luring converters’

A group of 30 Christmas carollers were arrested in India after they were attacked and had their car set alight – with warnings now issued to other worshippers. 

The group were arrested on anti-conversion charges after they were accused of trying to “lure” Hindus to Christianity – a serious crime in the hardline northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. 

And now warnings have been issued to other Christians in the region, who have been told in no uncertain terms to keep their celebrations private. 

Persecuted Christians watchdog Open Doors said a right-wing Hindu nationalist group had sent the warning to schools in the northern Indian state. 

They said Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) had written letters to schools in the city of Aligarh, “calling on them to refrain from Christmas celebrations where Hindu students are in the majority”.

Open Doors said: “HJM claim that students being asked to bring toys and gifts into school to celebrate Christmas is a step towards forced conversions.”

The city’s HJM president accused Christian schools of trying to convert Hindu children. 

Sonu Savita said: “This is the easy way to lure them into Christianity.

“We are talking to parents organisations too and appeal to them to oppose these activities.”

Another representative of the nationalist group said they would protest if their demands were ignored. 

HJM’s tate secretary Sanju Bajaj said: “If the schools fail to follow our directives, we will stage protests outside the institutions.”

It follows an increase in tensions between Hindus and Christians in the area, which culminated in mass carolling arrest on December 14. 

The arrests were sparked after a man, who has since admitted he is a member of HJM, said the group were trying to convert him with their Christmas songs. 

Dharmendra Dohar said he was offered money to convert by the group, who said they were simply singing songs. 

Open Doors said: “The carol singers, one of whom is a professor at a Catholic theological college, insisted they were only singing songs, but a Hindu man alleged he had been told to ‘worship Jesus Christ’ and offered money to convert to Christianity. 

“At first the group of seminary students and two priests were detained. A further eight priests who went to help were also detained, according to a spokesperson from the Indian Catholic Church.

“The carol singers’ car was later set on fire by suspected Bajrang Dal activists, a Hindu extremist group.”