Davangere and Haveri Persecuted Pastors Conference

December 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Church, India, Karnataka, newsletter-india

Mangalore persecuted pastors meet

Mangalore, December 6, 2011: After the Mangalore persecuted pastors meet, the affected from Davangere and Haveri decided to get together. Hundreds gathered under the leadership of Rev. Honnykar, esbyter and area chairman of CSI Church and Father. D’ Mello of the Roman Catholic Church on this platform created by the All India Christian Council (aicc), the idea being, bringing all the churches and denominations to face common problems of persecution unitedly. Justice Michael F Saldanha, a former High Court judge was the guest of honor and was felicitated on the ocassion. His presence with deep experience and knowledge all through the sessions was blessing to the Conference. The gathering was touched by his simplicity as he called upon the community to stand together as one and use the aicc for the purpose.

Justice Michael F Saldanha

The conference was a great celebration of “Joy in the Midst of the Persecution” which was very true to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:11-12: Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. It was in the light of this Word, that about 40 different pastors and evangelists were honoured with a shawl, persecuted mainly from Davnagere, Shimoga and other seriously affected parts of Karnataka over last 2 years.

Persecuted Pastors Conference 

The persecuted pastors shared their painful experiences with the RSS, Bajarag Dal and even the police and authorities. The forms of persecution included physical attack and abuse, property damage and loss, even sending them to jail. Following are a few experiences –

* Pastor Rajshekar gave the brief report of Davangere district as to how the persecution was planned and carried by the communal forces on most of the churches. He said that most of the pastors and progressive Dalit leaders had joined in protesting the persecution. He added even today the administration in one or other way is targeting the Christians.

* Pastor Immanuel said that he has recorded about 38 incidents which occurred in Dasvangere district. He thanked the aicc for the extended help during the time of persecution through their visit and legal assistance.

* Pastor Sathish from Tumakur had to seek refuge in the forest, being chased at midnight. He shared how challenging it was to run not knowing where he was going. In the midst of the darkness he said he truly prayed and was guided by the Lord. After about 8 Kms, he was able to reach the road and find a safety in the police station.

* Pastor Gangadhar, is serving the Lord in a place Malebenur of Harihar taluka in Davangere district. He remembered the horrific experience of his house and church being burnt completely with all his family’s belongings. He fought persistently and won the legal battle is now ready to rebuild the church.

* Mr. Prakash, the manager, The Good Shepherd School run by aicc, described how he was tortured by the elements of the Sangh Pariwar, beaten on the streets and the school sought to be shut down, as it is involved in conversion. But he took the matter to the Karnataka High Court and the Lord gave him victory in the case.

* Pastor Titus, who travelled from Coorg district said that the persecution has increased in his district recently, and even last week there was attack on two churches, which aicc helped in resolving by taking up the issue with the police.

* Pastor Luzuras of the Kolar district said the RSS people have placed an idol in the church nearby Kolar and sought assistance to resolve the communal situations there.

Persecuted Pastors Conference

* Mr. K L Ashok, president of Komusauharda Vedek, a secular group which fight against persecution spoke on the politics in Karnataka and called upon Christians to stand in solidarity alongside the progressive and Dalit groups to fight communal forces.

* Mr. Kashim Saab, a Muslim Leader and social worker said that there are number of benefits for Chrsitians as minorities and they failed to make use of them. He urged the community to be aware of the procedures to avail of government benefits.

* Pastor K. Samuel, a Christian leader presenting a talk on the “Theology of persecution”, declared that persecution is a reality and we have to be prepared to face with strength from God.

* Rev. John Satyaveera said even if there is an attack how we should not be silent but make it known by using the Media.

* Rev. David Raj Kumar had prayed for all those who were responsible for making the conference happen and also presented the Bibles to all those who attended.

The conference, which was the 11th district covered, thanked pastors Pream Kumar and Ravi Kumar and the work of the Davangere Pastors Fellowship.

– rev. anand kumar v. jogul

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