Hindu extremists force Indian church pastor to Hindu temple

May 8, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Hindu ExtremistTelangana, May 05, 2015: Pastor Meesaul and his church members discovered the saffron flags used by Hindu extremists after they returned to the church building from a sunrise service. Disrupting the Easter Sunday worship service on 5 April at a church in Makthal Mandal in India’s Telangana state, a mob of Hindu extremists hung two Hindu saffron flags in the church premises and demanded that Pastor Christopher Meesaul accompany them to the Hindu temple, where he was later rescued by police.

When the Christians took the flags down, a mob of Hindu extremists gathered outside the church and hoisted a new saffron flag in the church premises.

The Hindu radicals demanded that the pastor stop the Easter Sunday worship service and that he come with them to the Hindu temple. “The extremists pushed, slapped and kicked me as they took me to the temple while they continued to hurl verbal abuse against my faith,” said Pastor Meesaul.

Police later rescued the pastor and allowed him to resume the worship service, but ordered that he move back the front boundary of the church premises by three feet.

US Religious Freedom Report

In a report released on 30 April, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) concludes that “Christian communities, across many denominations, report an increase of harassment and violence in the last year, including physical violence, arson, desecration of churches and Bibles, and disruption of religious services”.

This increase in verbal and physical abuse over the last year is largely attributed to the electoral victory of the Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in May 2014. Police inaction is also cited as a driving force to increased anti-Christian violence by creating a “climate of impunity”.

Only last week, Indian bishops released a press statement in Bangalore on 24 April condemning the words of Munna Kumar Shukla, General Secretary of the Hindu nationalist party Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, who said that the government should protect and even give awards to people who attack churches.

– barnabas team

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