Police detain and beat 20 Indian Christian missionaries

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

protestRajasthan, March 6, 2015: Police in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, in northern India, detained a group of 20 Christians distributing leaflets to local residents on 26 February and took them to the police station, where they were kicked and beaten before being released.

The Christians, who were missionaries sent from the city of Hyderabad, encountered hostility from local people to their literature distribution. “We had left the spot,” says Surendra Kumar, one of the Christians arrested. “But those people opposed to us followed us till the place where we were staying. There again, they called the police. The police picked us up and took us to the police station. We were made to get out of the police van by being kicked and then, inside the police station, the cops lined us up and hit us with belts on our hands and wrists.”

Pastor Stephen Raj was among those beaten by the police. “They made us stretch out our palms and beat us severely with wooden lathis [sticks]”, he said. “Those who pulled their hands back after the first beating came in for more beatings. Many of us have bruises and blood clots on our palms six days later.”

The incident took place only days after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the repeated incidents of anti-Christian violence. Addressing a Christian audience on 17 February, he said, “My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly”. Although his statements were welcomed, Christians across India urge the Prime Minister to take positive action to prove the sentiment.

– barnabas team

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