Persecution of Indian Christians has risen to new heights in the state of Karnataka after the BJP came into power here in February 2006. Attacks on Christian holidays have become common place here. On Christmas 2007, Hindu extremists led a series of violent attacks in Orissa's Kandhamal district, torching 95 churches, razing 730 houses and killing six Christians. In March, 2008, more than 150 Hindus stormed two Easter Sunday services and beat at least 16 Christians as reported by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Before launching the assault, the goons of Hindu RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal, armed with bamboo poles, sticks and rods came shouting slogans that "only those favoring Hindus could live amongst Hindus". They were reacting against Hindus converting to Christianity. The low-caste Hindus in this area have been converting in droves due to mistreatment by the superior caste Hindus. Assaults on Christians and their properties continue in Orrisa, Assam, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. At least 60 Christians have been killed in Orrisa last year. -FOZIA NIAZI, Mianwali, via e-mail, August 21.