• Persecution Watch, June 19, 2015

    Tribal Christian families forced to flee village in Jharkhand

    Five tribal Christian families from Kullu village, in the Chanho Block of Ranchi district, Jharkhand have been forced to flee from their home following threats and extreme pressure from local Hindu right wing activists. The exodus of the families started from June 4, 2015, when 4 families were banished from the village. The banished families have been Christians for more than 20 years and are part of the North Western Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church. On June 9, a family that had recently adopted Christianity was targeted by the same group and was beaten up brutally. Pastor Moosa Minj, the local Pastor of the Kullu Church was also forced to flee his house on June 15, after he was threatened with death and his belongings were thrown out of his house according to reports available with EFI.

    The Christians approached the local police station at Narkopi, first on June 13, and then again on June 15, but so far no action has been taken. A mass meeting (Panchayat) against Christians has been called on June 17, by the village head of Kullu and is supported by the village head of Sathari, the village next to Kullu. Christians from the Kullu village have told EFI that the local BJP MLA Gangotri Kujur from the Sarna community is behind the targeting of the Christians.

    Kullu village has a total number of 197 families residing as per Census of 2011.

    Christians attacked during Prayer Meeting in Kerala

    A Christian prayer meeting was attacked by suspected RSS activists on June 14, 2015 at about 12:30 pm at Attingal, Kerala. According to information available with EFI, eight Christians sustained injuries after a mob of 50 plus people allegedly belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) attacked the weekly prayer meet organized by 'Reaching the world with love ministry' at the Municipal library hall of Attingal.

    According to reports received the attack took place without any provocation. The attackers targeted not only the worshippers but also the Pastor present. Shouting "Bharat mata ki jai" (Victory to Mother India), they broke the furniture, musical instruments, fans and scattered the eatables.

    The police later registered an FIR and arrested 5 people in connection with the attack. The names of the arrested as reported in the media are: T R Anoop (38), Anoop (30), Abhijit (22), Vimal (30) and Deepu (20). They are all natives of Attingal.

    Christian school attacked by unidentified people in West Bengal

    Unidentified persons attacked the Believers Church missionary school at Madhyamgram, North 24 Paraganas, on June 3, 2015 creating panic among the Christian community in the area. The decade old School is located at Abdalpur in Madhyamgram, around 4 km from the Kolkata Airport.

    The attackers not only ransacked classrooms but also damaged educational and official equipments. They also destroyed furnitire, looted food and contaminated the water filtration system by pouring phenyl into it, as per reports available with EFI. After the attack objectionable grafiiti was also found written on the premises walls.

    This is the second incident of a Christian school being targeted in West Bengal since March this year. The police have registred a FIR but no arrests have been made till date.

    Church construction work forcefully stopped in Telangana

    A group of fundamentalists forcibly stopped the Church construction work of the Gethsamne prayer hall at Wanaparthy, Mahabib Nagar, Telangana on May 21, 2015. According to reports received by EFI, the land on which the construction of the Church building is going on belongs to one of the Church members who has donated the same to the Church. 70 regular members worship in the Church every Sunday and the Church has been in the present place for about a year now.

    On May 21, Hindu fundamentalists descended on the spot where the Church was being contructed and created a scene. They raised objection to the construction work and the presence of the Church. This was followed by a visit from the local Deputy Suprintendent of Police who visited the Church site and ordered the Church officials to stop the construction work.

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