Persecuted Indian Christians appeal to west

 In the wake of a series of criminal attacks and killings, a leading association of Christian churches has appealed to the UN and Amnesty International for support. Herod Malik, who leads the United Forum of Catholics and Protestants in the state of West Bengal, said: "We have to turn to international organisations because we have no faith in the Indian government." Parts of India were evangelised in the first century, although the 22 million Christians only account for two per cent of the total population. Mr Malik said that he had written to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, explaining that the government will not protect Christians from the violent attacks of fundamentalists. In the last month, a Protestant preacher was killed in the State of Punjab and a Catholic priest was found dead in Uttar Pradesh. There were also several bomb attacks on churches: two in the State of Andhra Pradesh, one in Karnataka and another in Goa. Other offices and buildings have been vandalised. Many Christians in Indian face daily threats and are living in fear for their lives.

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