EFI: Persecution Rises in MP, Karnataka & Maharashtra

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Pastor arrested in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya PradeshMadhya Pradesh, November 9, 2012: The police arrested Pastor R.K Badodiya after Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal shouting anti-Christians slogans barged into a prayer meeting, beat up the Christians and accused Pastor Badodiya of forceful conversion on 7 Nov in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

About 50 extremists including 25 women shouting “Dharmantaran Band Karo” barged into the two days Prayer Fellowship conducted by Pastor R.K Badodiya of Bethel Fellowship Church and started beating him and the participants including the ladies. The extremists continued to beat Pastor Badodiya on the road as they took him to the police station and accused him of forceful conversion .The police arrested him under Sections 3 & 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.

Advocate Tehmina Arora said, “The police seems to be under intense pressure to register these frivolous cases from Hindutva groups based raise false allegations, and make arrests. Inspite of the offence being bailable, it was only at about 11:00 pm that the police released the pastor on bail after repeated calls from various quarters.”

Madhya Pradesh has a Christian population of 170,381, only 0.3 percent of the total in the state, according to the 2001 census. The state’s history of religious intolerance runs deep, with an “anti-conversion” law passed in 1968 that has serves as a pretext for harassing Christians.

Christians hospitalised & arrested in Karnataka

Christians Hospitalised & Arrested in Karnataka Karnataka, November 9, 2012: The police arrested two Christians after Hindu extremists attacked Christians with wooden sticks and clubs injuring 9 Christians with two ending up in hospital on 29 October in Chikkamatti, Shimoga. The arrest came after the extremists opposed the baptism of 40 tribals on Sunday morning at the Indian Apostolic Church conducted by Pastor Prashanth. The extremists accused the new converts of upsetting the age-old customs and practices of the village and threatened them of dire consequences if they did not return to Hinduism.

Thereafter, the extremists began to beat the Christians with sticks and clubs when they told them that they will never give up their new found faith in Christ. Nine Christians were injured and two identified only as Chinnawadu, 50, and Raggesh, 45, were admitted in Bhadravathi Government Hospital with serious wounds.

Later on the same day, the extremists filed a police complaint against Pastor Prashanth and three church members of forcefully converting tribals to Christianity. The police registered a case and charged the Christians under Sections 295 A of the Indian penal Code. Two Christians identified only as Santosh and Naveen were arrested and they were produced before the Shimoga Magistrate who has sent them to the Shimoga Jail. Pastor Prashanth and one believer are absconding.

Pastor, 11 Christians arrested in Maharashtra

Pastor, 11 Christians Arrested in MaharastraMaharashtra, November 9, 2012: The police on 26 October, in Malvan, Sindhugurh District arrested 13 Christians after Hindu extremists shouting anti-Christian slogans barged into a prayer meeting, beat them up and filed a case against them of forceful conversion. Pastor Rozi Fernandez from New Life Fellowship Association conducted a prayer meeting and invited Pastor Suresh Puhari as the guest speaker. At about 2 p.m when Pastor Puhari was preaching, Hindu extremists led by Baban Shinde entered the hall shouting “Jay Bhavani, Jay Shivaji.”

Thereafter the extremists went up to the stage and asked Hindus to leave the meeting immediately and started to beat up the Christians. One extremist hit Pastor Puhari’s head with a flower pot and then use speaker box to beat up other believers. Pastor Puhari sustained head injury and one Christian, Satish Sakrtiay suffered an injury on his leg.

Later, Pastor Rozi Fernandez filed a police compliant against the extremists. However, the extremists also filed a counter complaint against the Christians of forceful conversion. The police registered First Information Report against the 13 extremists and 12 Christians including Pastor Rozi Fernandez and detained them in police custody.

An intensive hate campaign against the Christians is going on in the area. “The believers are being ostracised and we are not able to conduct our usual worship services. We asked for police protection but it has not been given to us till now.” Anand Chougule, area pastor.
– efi

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