Hindu Radicals: Kill a Christian for $250

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In India, extremist Hindus are offering big rewards for killing Christians and destroying their property.

"People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties," said a spokesman for the All-India Christian Council. "They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton and weapons. They are given petrol and kerosene."

"The going price to kill a pastor is $250 (£170)," Faiz Rahman said. Rajman is the Chairman of Good News India, an organization that runs several orphanages in Orissa.

 But Ram Madhav, a spokesman for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - the largest Hindu group in India - has denied the charges.

"The accusation is absolutely false," he said.

In the last few months, Hindu extremists have targeted Christians in the eastern state of Orissa in string of murders and arson attacks.

And although some of the violence has abated, at least 11,000 Christians refugees remain in camps in the Indian district of Kandhamal.

"They are too scared to go home. They know that if they return to their villages they will be forced to convert to Hinduism," said Father Manoj, who is based in the Archbishop's office in Bhubaneshwar, India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condemned the attacks, calling them a "matter of national shame" and vowed to take decisive action.

"I deeply regret the loss of life and property and attacks on churches," Singh told supporters at an election rally Tuesday. "I assure you that the perpetrators of such heinous crimes are dealt with severely. We will spare no effort to rebuild churches and schools."

Hundreds of churches have been destroyed and scores of Christians killed this year in the area.

Sources: Times of London, India Express, CBN News

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