• Persecution Watch, February 20, 2015

    Christian Women Attacked, clothes stripped off in Jharkhand

    On 8 Feb in Navardi, Chatra, Hindu extremists attacked a prayer meeting, dragged four women out to the road, beat them and stripped one lady partially naked.

    According to our correspondent in Jharkhand, about 11 extremists barged into the house of a Christian woman, Yasoda Dangi, while four ladies were praying at 4 p.m. and verbally abuse them for following Christ.

    Thereafter, the extremists dragged them out to the road, beat them up, took off the saree of Dangi and tore up her blouse as they accused her of being responsible for the ongoing prayer meetings in the village.

    "The attack lasted for more than an hour with the extremists shouting all sorts of vulgar words to the four ladies and threatened to impose a fine on them if they do not stop worshiping Christ." Area church leaders Pastor Nayak told EFI News.

    The Christians sustained bruises and abrasion on their faces and they received treatment in the local hospital.

    With the intervention of the EFI RLC, the police registered an FIR against the culprits and promised that further protection will be given to the Christians.

    Christians Attacked in Odisha

    Hindu fundamentalists launched a series of attacks against the Christians in Tigam, Malkangiri which led to the believers fleeing their homes and some sustaining injuries.

    The first attack took place on 6 Feb where a Christian, Erral Gunjam, was beaten up by his brother and the villagers for his faith in Christ. "They told him to renounce his faith but when he refused, they started to beat him up." reported our correspondent in Malkangiri.

    Again, on the next day, the Hindu fundamentalist summoned the Christian families to a public meeting where they were urged to leave Christ and worship Hindu deities. When the Christians refused, they beat them up with sticks and forced them to worship the Hindu idols and forcefully made them dipped in the river as a form of Hindu rituals.

    However, the Christians told them that they will never leave Christ.

    Similarly, on the third day, the Hindu fundamentalists threatened the Christians to harm and burn up their houses if they continue to worship Christ and filed a police complaint against them of being Christians and of leaving the Hindu gods.

    However, the station police officer did not file a complaint against the Christians and told the villagers not to disturb the Christians and live peacefully.

    The angry fundamentalists started beating the Christians again in the evening where many of the believers fled the area for safety measures.

    "We ran to help the Christians, distributed medicines and gave first aid to many who were sustaining injuries and abrasions" area church leader from the Indian Missionary Society told EFI News.

    The police on 10 Feb arranged for a peace talk between the Christians and the Hindu fundamentalists. However, the fundamentalists declined to have any kind of compromise and maintained that "everyone in the village should worship Hindu gods or leave." reported our correspondent.

    Kindly pray that the Christians in Tadam village will remain strong amid persecution and that there will be religious tolerance in the area.

    Christian School Attacked, Teacher Accused of Molesting a Student in Jharkhand

    A mob of Hindu fundamentalists shouting anti- Christian slogans attacked a mission school, destroyed school and church properties and alleged that a Christian teacher molested a student on 2 Feb in Barhawa, Sahibganj, Jharkhand.

    According to our correspondent in Barharwa, in an incident apparently motivated by the right wing groups, the mother of a girl student of class V of Holy Family school filed a complaint against one teacher, Bhim Kujur, of molesting her child, slapped him with an angry crowd shouting 'Jai Shri Ram' swelling up thereafter.

    An agitated mother of Keona Mondol reading in class V complaint of her child being molested to the school principal and thereafter marched to class V room and slapped Bhim Kujur, whom she accused of molesting her daughter.

    Simultaneously, an angry mob numbering to more than thousand swelled up outside the school building, hurled stones and bricks at the school building and a church nearby, damaging some parts of the school building and the church and further called the Christians "Beef eaters" and told to go back to their native place and threatened to break the Christian statues.

    "The accusation against Bhim Kujur was totally false" said P S Chacko, Holy Family school representative. "Most students including Keona Mondol gave Christmas cards to Kujur and he happily accepted them. All the students of class V, when school authorities interrogated them said they did not see their teacher misbehaving with the girl." Chacko told EFI News.

    Area Christian leaders also maintained that the mother of Keona Mondol is a teacher of Rishi School in the same area which newly launched the English medium section and it was alleged that the school made an attempt to rope in Mr. Bhim Kujur which the latter refused.

    The police and the tribal hostel boys form a nearby college were able to chase the violent mob away.

    "The town people are wondering if the sudden unprovoked attempt was staged to malign the Holy Family School and the Christian religion." Chacko said.

    Kindly pray for the school and for peace in the area.

    Church Vandalized in New Delhi

    On 2 Feb in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, a church was vandalized, making it the fifth such incident in the past two months in India's capital city.

    According to our correspondent, unidentified miscreants broke in to the St. Alphonso's church in the wee hours and defiled the communion host.

    "The consecrated host was scattered on the altar and on the floor but the miscreants who broke in stole nothing of value as the three donation boxes remained untouched." said Fr, Vincent Salvatore, the parish priest of the church.

    Church leaders in India believe that the incident is an attempt to spread communal tension in the capital and a deliberate intention to desecrate a church.

    In connection to the incident, the New Delhi police on 5 Feb detained and manhandled about 1,500 Christians who gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral as part of a protest against the attack against the churches.

    Christian School Looted in New Delhi

    In another incident in India's capital state, a convent school was robbed in south Delhi's Vasant Vihar.

    On 12 Feb, unidentified miscreants broke into Holy Child Auxilium school from the back gate, entered into the auditorium and thereafter broke the doors of the reception and the principal's office and took Rs 8000/- from the donation boxes kept at the reception's desk.

    "The 31 boxes which contained money contributed by the students for the poor people were all opened. They took the currency which amounted to Rs 8000/- and left the coins. The CCTV was also damaged." a representative of the school told EFI News.

    Kindly pray for peace.

    Issued By:

    Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
    General Secretary
    Evangelical Fellowship of India
    New Delhi, India