Some Christians converted to Hinduism and burnt their bibles in an attempt to avoid being attacked
In recent months India has seen a frightening rise in violence against the country's Christian minority.

Angry mobs of Hindu extremists have ransacked dozens of churches, set light to thousands of homes and killed scores of innocent people. 

Feeding their fury is the increasing number of dalits (lower-caste Hindus) converting to Christianity, in an attempt to escape the crushing hierarchy of the caste system. 

Tens of thousands of Christians have fled to refugee camps in order to escape the violence. 

Many Christians feel that only through burning bibles and converting to Hinduism can they guarantee their safety.

Some political analysts say that Hindu nationalist political parties have flamed the sectarian tensions for their own gains. 

Filmmaker Nicolas Haque investigates.

Condemned at conception

Shin is the only escapee from North Korea's most brutal prison camp
There are increasing doubts over ailing Kim Jong Il's whereabouts, health, and ability to stay in power.

The only escapee of North Korea's most brutal prison camp has lived to tell us a story of unspeakable horror. Starved of food and common humanity, Shin proves that gulags are still a tragic reality.

Shin's most vivid memory of his life in the camp is the constant hunger he felt. "Food made me escape, even if it was going to cost me my life. The only thing that interested me was the food," he says.

Astonishingly before his escape three years ago, he did not even know that a world existed beyond the barbed wires. Until then, his life had been one of torture, hard labour and complete isolation.

"My mother was supposed to inform on me and me on her," Shin says.

An illustration of Shin's experience in the camp
He believed she deserved her fate as he witnessed her execution. "I blamed her. I had no real feelings as a kid."

Shin did not know love, only violence, once witnessing guards beating a little girl to death. He eventually escaped through a gap in a high-voltage fence. His charred legs still bear the scars.

As terrible as it is, Shin's story is not unique and many believe that oppression in North Korea will keep increasing.

As Wang, another former prisoner and prominent writer on the subject, explains: "The brutality of the system has grown to the point where Kim Jong Il now fears that he will suffer the same fate as Caucescu of Romania. He simply wants to kill all his enemies."

This episode of People & Power airs from Saturday, December 06, 2008.

Source: Al Jazeera