An Indian church leader has criticised the chief minister of India's southern Karnataka state for saying that those responsible for a continuing series of attacks on churches should have their hands cut off.
Church groups have hailed the report of an Indian federal commission recommending an end to decades of religion-based discrimination which excluded Christian and Muslim Dalits from affirmative action legislation.
As the UN declares caste-based discrimination a human rights violation, Indian Christian leaders have called on the churches to confess that the caste system has not been fully removed from their own communities.
Church representatives from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia will visit churches and civil society groups in India to back justice and peace work and oppose caste discrimination and violence against Christians.
More churches and Christian groups in India have hailed as a victory for secular governance and a non-sectarian society the convincing victory of the ruling coalition, which did much better than pre-election polls had suggested.
According to an Indian church worker, the violence against Christians in the Indian state of Orissa last year was not a one-time event but the consequence of a fragmented society. However, the recent elections give fresh hope.