EFI: Persecution in MP, UP, Bihar & Chhatisgarh

September 23, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

MP: Five Christians arrested for converting

Madhya Pradesh ChristiansOn 12 September 2014, police arrested five Christians after they were accused of forceful conversion and of luring people to convert to Christianity by offering monetary benefits in Barwa, Khargoan.

About 10 Christians from Thlarau Bo Zawngtu Team (TBZ) were on their way to conduct a prayer meeting in one believer’s house when the Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal stopped them in front of the house, questioned them and told them not to pray in the area. “We just reached the believer’s place when two people standing outside the house prohibited us from entering into the house, told us to go back and not to pray.” Mimi, one team member said.

Thereafter, the Christians prayed a small prayer outside the house and started heading back home on their motor cycles. However, by that time about 20 extremists swelled up near the spot. “They let the first few of us go but barred two Christians, Sawmtea and Zonuna who were coming at the last.” Mimi said.

Realizing that the two Christians were stopped, two Christians from the team went back to the spot when the extremists started slapping them, verbally abused them for their faith and accused them of forceful conversion and offering Rs 1 lakh to each family to convert to Christianity and took them to the police station.

The rest of the Christians went ahead and waited for their friends in the house of one believer in the same area when the police went and took another three Christians to the police station. Altogether seven Christians including two women were questioned in the police station. Five were arrested under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code for knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse, and sent them to jail on the next day. The two women were released without any charges filed against them.

Speaking on the incident, Rev. Zaithanga, Field Director of TBZ said, “The accusations against our workers were baseless. They went to the area after they were invited by one believer to pray in his house. There was no case of forceful conversion and we did not offer money to anyone to convert them.” The Christians were released on bail around 6 p.m on 16 September 2014

Tension prevails in the area and the Christians were relocated for safety measures at press time. Kindly pray that the Christians will stand strong amid persecution and kindly pray for the ministry of TBZ.

Bihar: Christians repeatedly attacked

BiharOn 30 August 2014 in Balwanazir, Kaliyanganj, about five Hindu extremists forcefully entered into the house of Shri Lal Khatiyan, questioned them on who had visited them, called them pagans and started to beat them up. The Christians in the area were not allowed to visit anyone’s home nor entertain anyone in their home,” area pastor Laxmi Prasad told said. The couple later received hospital treatment.

Later that day, about 100 extremists with sticks stood in each corner of the village to make sure that no Christian go out from the village to file a police complaint and threatened to cut into pieces anyone who dare venture out to report the attack against the couple. From 26 May 2014 onwards, the Christians have been beaten up, ostracized and harassed because of their faith. The prayer hall was shut down where the extremists threatened to kill and bury anyone who opens the church door in the premises, said Pastor Ajayan, area leader from the Evangelical Team of India.

Chhattisgarh: Pastor arrested

Chhattisgarh ChristiansAt Koranga, Jashpur, Hindu extremists forcefully pulled out Pastor Virendar Bhaskar from an independent church while he was conducting a Sunday worship meeting and accused him of forceful conversion and of terming the Hindu gods as evil spirits on 17 August 2014.

Rev. Kalerdan Tirkey reported that Pastor Bhaskar was arrested under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. However, the local villagers and believers testified at the Kunkuri police station that the allegation against the pastor was false.

The pastor was released on bail on 28 August 2014. Kindly pray for him.

Chhattisgarh: Two Christian women arrested

On August 8 in Sakti, Raigarh, two Christian women, Jyoti Pal and Manju Modu were arrested under Section 4 of the Chhattisgarh Freedom of Religion Act. The arrest took place when the two women were conducting a healing prayer meeting and prayed for some sick patients when the Hindu extremists alleged that they were forcefully converting people to Christianity, reported area pastor Raju Yadav. After the intervention of the area church leaders, the Christians were released on bail.

UP: Christian girl beaten up

On 7 August 2014 in Jalanpur, Haridwar, Hindu extremists allegedly from Rashtriya Swamyamseval Sangh beat up the minor daughter of Pastor Pyare Lal ji from an Independent church while she coming back from her school and later pelted stones at the Pastor Lalji’s house . The Christians fled in fear. “I was away in a nearby village when the incident took place. The extremists have threatened to harm me several times in the past if I did not stop conducting worship meetings”, Pastor Pyare Lal said. The Christians filed a police complaint. However, no action was taken against the attackers.

UP: Christians detained & beaten up

UPOn 30 August 2014 in Kulesra, Greater Noida, police detained 13 Christians after the Hindu mob forcefully stop a fasting prayer meeting and accused the main pastor of forceful conversion. Two persons barged into the fasting prayer conducted by Pastor Sanjay Singh from Calvary Temple and told him to stop the meeting. Thereafter, about 100 Hindu mob swelled up near the church and started to verbally abuse the Christians, beat them up and took five pastors to the Surajpur Thana. Later, the mob came back to the church, beat up the Christians and took three more pastors to the police station.

The mob demanded the arrests of the eight Christians when another five Christians arrived at the spot. The mob along with two police officer beat up the five Christians. One believer, Shibu Abrabram sustained a severe injury on his left ear and he was not able to hear thereafter. “The police, however, maintained that they have beaten up the Christians to please the Hindu mob as a mean of protection for the Christians.” advocate Promod Singh the Christian Legal Association said. He added that the police claimed the Hindu extremist groups, RSS, BJP and the Arya Samaj to be behind the attacked.

After the intervention of the area Christian leaders, the Christians were released without any charges filed against them. “There was no case of forceful conversion, people come to the church by their own choice.” Rev. Wilson said adding that worship meeting is going on under the tense situation. About 200 people worship at the Calvary Temple. Kindly pray for them.

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