• Persecution Watch, May 19, 2015

    Christians Boycotted in Chhattisgarh

    In Charama, Kanker, four Christian families were harassed daily after the village head along with the Hindu extremists called a meeting and publicly boycotted them on April 7.

    According to our correspondent, the village head summoned the four Christian families to a public meeting, announced that they are outcast for following Christ, warned to punish anyone who talked to them, gave them water and sold them goods.

    "The electricity has also been cut off from their homes," area Christian leader, advocate Sonsingh Jhali told EFI News.

    The ongoing incident of boycotting the Christians erupted after the Hindu extremists stormed the marriage ceremony of a Christian, Vishwas Sahu, where they manhandled the Christians including his four sisters.

    The situation is tense in the area.

    In a similar incident in Mokhpal, Dantewada, Hindu extremists harassed the Christians and threatened to destroy the church if they continued to worship Christ in the area.

    According to our correspondent, the Hindu extremists maintained that the name of Christ should not be mentioned in the village and anyone who continued to go to church will be banished, socially boycotted and that their agricultural lands will also be captured.

    Kindly pray for the Christians in Chhattisgarh.

    Preaching Stopped, Pastors Beaten up, Detained in Bihar

    Hindu extremists stopped the open air preaching of pastors, accused them of forceful conversion and beat them up on April 10 in Hisua, Nawada.

    According to our correspondent in Bihar, Pastor(s) O.M Matthew, Ram Bali and Arun Kumar were preaching on the road when about 100 Hindu extremists came and beat them up.

    "The extremists accused the pastors of forceful conversion and told them not to preach in the area," area church leader, C.Joseph told EFI News.

    At about 10:30 a.m., the area Development Officer along with the police officials arrived at the spot and took the three pastors to the police station.

    After the intervention of the area Christian leaders, the pastors were released at about 2 a.m. the next day without filing any charges against them.

    Pastor Beaten up, Detained in Telangana

    Police detained a pastor after Hindu extremists allegedly from the Rashtriya Swamyamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad beat him up on April 19 in Muccherla Pally, Mahabubnagar.

    According to our correspondent, at about 3 p.m, Pastor Shalem Raj of Hebron Church was distributing gospel tracts when the extremists charged in, accused him of forceful conversion and mercilessly beat him up.

    The extremists thereafter took the pastor to the police station where he was detained for more than nine hours. He was released at midnight on the condition to report at the police station the next morning.

    "There was no case of forceful conversion as the pastor was handling out the tracts only to those who wanted to take it," area church leader, Rev. Sunder Paul told EFI News.

    Following the incident, about 150 Christians staged a protest against the incident near the local police station.

    Spate of Attacks Against Churches, Christians in Madhya Pradesh

    Hostel for Mentally Challenged Attacked in Barwani

    On May 12 in Pipaldhar, Barwani, suspected Hindu extremists attacked a hostel for mentally challenged children and damaged the roof of the hostel.

    According to our correspondent Rev. Sam Francis, at about 3:15 a.m., the attackers pelted stones at the church and damaged the roof made of asbestos sheets.

    At the time of the attack, there were three nuns in the hostel. The nuns, at press time, were relocated for safety measures.

    The Christians have submitted a police complaint.

    Three Churches attacked in Indore

    Suspected Hindu extremists attacked three churches on May 12 in Indore allegedly as an action against the supposedly inauguration of a new orphanage run by Christian missionaries.

    According to our correspondent Brother Danny, the extremists pelted stones, destroyed the crosses, vandalized various items of the church and attempted to set fire to one of the churches in the area.

    It was reported that the leaders of the orphanage had invited the opposition leader, Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate the new home. Subsequently, the extremists carried out these attacks to stop Gandhi from opening the home.

    The Sanskritik Jagran Manch, a local right-wing Hindu organisation, has come under suspicion for what happened after it threatened "direct action" against Gandhi if she actually opened the facility, according to media reports.

    Similarly, the extremists attacked St Paul's Anglican Church and destroyed furniture, a crucifix, holy vessels and the microphone.

    The attackers also tried to set fire to a Protestant church, throwing burning rags inside. Police were able to douse the fire before it spread further.

    In a similar incident, the extremists pelted stones at another protestant church, broke glass panels and windows.

    "The tiny Christian community is shaken by these incidents and there is 'a feeling of insecurity' within the Christian community with the almost daily occurrence of attacks against them," Area church leader, Rev. Sam Francis told EFI News.

    Sunday Worship Meeting Stopped in Dewas

    On May 10 in Dewas, police detained a pastor and about 40 church members after the Hindu extremists manhandled, verbally abused and accused them of forceful conversion.

    According to our correspondent, a mob allegedly led by the local leaders of the RSS stormed the Sunday worship meeting conducted by Pastor Ronald Sinclair, verbally abused him and the church members for their faith in Christ and started to push them around.

    The police who accompanied the extremists took Pastor Sinclair and 40 church members to the police station for questioning and detained them till midnight.

    In the meantime, other local pastors who arrived at the police station, to extend their help to the Christians, were beaten up by the extremists.

    The police asked Pastor Sinclair to submit the church membership lists and thereafter released him and the church members later in the night.

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