Persecution Watch, June 16, 2016
16 Dalit Christians forced to flee home in Jharkhand
May 13, 2016: Sixteen Dalit Christians were beaten up and forced to flee their homes in Hunter village, Palamu District, Jharkhand. The Christians, who have been following Christianity for more than 9 years, were summoned before the village council and questioned as to why they were worshipping Jesus Christ. They were told to worship Hindu gods and when they refused, the hands and legs of the Christian men, were tied up and they were brutally beaten. Women and children who attempted to save the men were also beaten up. No FIR has been filed.
Pastor Attacked at Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh
May 15, 2016: Pastor Santosh Kumar Masih and his wife Anjani Masih were beaten by RSS members and villagers at Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. Pastor Santosh has been conducting worship services in the area for the last three years. In the recent past, he received threats from Hindu extremists in the area including some priests. A FIR has been filed and and two attackers have been arrested by the police.
Christian girl beaten up in Bastar, Chhattisgarh
May 15, 2016: Four men beat up Kamli Kawasi, 22 years, till she was unconscious. The men reportedly came to beat her brother. The family was targeted because they are Christians. The attackers alleged that because the family has become Christians it has brought bad fortune to the village. Kamli was beaten so badly on her face, abdomen, chest and other parts that she fell unconscious for two days. The family who are now in another place because of fear are unable to go back to their village. EFI team visited the family and helped in Kamli’s treatment.
Christian graveyard damaged at Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
May 17, 2016: A Christian cemetery was severely damaged by the Municipal Corporation of Sagar city, Madhya Pradesh. The cemetery was located in the Shivaji ward of the city. The municipal corporation was supposed to be working on the renovation of a canal using heavy machines and during the process the workers damaged the nearby cemetery extensively. Graves were reportedly broken and skeletons and bones were seen out in the open. An enquiry has been initiated by the Additional District Magistrate, while the media has alleged that there is no presence of any canal anywhere near the cemetery.
Historic Church built in 1847, dysfunctional because of Army blockade at Hyderabad
May 18, 2016: Some 1200 Christians have been rendered Churchlessafter the Army blocked roads leading to the Holy Trinity Church at Bolarum. The Church which is well over a century old, was built at the initiative of Queen Victoria lies in the Army Cantonment area of Bolarum. The parish members have approached the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to resolve the issue.
Church and prayer hall demolished at Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh
May 20, 2016: Municipal authorities demolished the Zion Prayer House Church and Community Hall at Rabindranath Tagore Ward, Jagdalpur city, Chhattisgarh. Pastor Daniel Kashyap serves as the Pastor of the Zion Church. According to him the Municipal Corporation broke the altar and did not even give time to carry out the artifacts and furnitures of the Church to safety.
Christians arrested in Satna, Madhya Pradesh
May 22, 2016: Police in Satna district arrested Evangelist V A Antony, his wife Prabha, Praveen Choudhary and her 4-year-old son, on alleged charges of forcible conversion and hurting religious feelings at Aber village. Evangelist Antony was threatened by five people including two plain clothed policemen at village Aber before the beginning of the worship service. The extremists abused him and shouted anti-Christian slogans. Later that day while the Christians were on their way back from the Sunday worship service, policemen in plain clothes apprehended them as they blocked their car using a SUV. They asked Antony to come out, slapped him and asked him to leave the area. They continued trailing the car along with another car full of Hindu extremists. The Christians were then taken to the Kolar police station where they were arrested and sent to judicial custody. They were bailed out 2 days later.
Christians take stance against land grabbing
May 26, 2016: Angry Protesters in Mumbai government demonstrated against the “unjust administrative decision to take away land belonging to a historic church.” The protests were triggered by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plans to demolish the cross inside the compound wall of Our Lady of Remedy Church, which was built by Portuguese missionaries in 1550. BMC maintains that the demolition is needed for widening the road, however Christian leaders say that that the excuse has been used to grab Church properties in the past as well. The 466-year-old church, has been listed as a heritage property needing protection by the BMC itself. According to sources, more than 65 churches have had their land grabbed by the government in a city where land is a premium.
Pastor beaten up in Gurdaspur, Punjab
May 28, 2016: Unidentified assailants attacked Mr. Arif Chouhan, at Kotli SurantMalli, Gurdaspur district. Arif Chouhan is a young Christian activist and was busy in organizing an awareness rally for the Christian community when the attack took place. The attack was so severe that his left arm and ankle were fractured.
Pastor and wife attacked at Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh
May 29, 2016: Hindu fundamentalists attacked and beat up Pastor Lalta Prasad and his wife in Naupur, Jaunpur district. Both the pastor and his wife have suffered multiple fractures as a result of the attack. The incident took place when Sunday worship service was going on. Suddenly a group of Hindu fundamentalists with faces covered attacked the congregation causing the people to disperse and run. The pastor and his wife were specifically targeted by the attackers and the people to tried to rescue them were also beaten up. The attackers then fled the scene on their vehicles. Christian leaders say that the authorities including the doctors who checked the couple for injuries put fear in their heart and hence the pastor and wife decided not to press any charges.
VBS Program disrupted by Hindu Extremists at Prem Nagar, Delhi
June 4, 2016: Police detained Pastor Rajpal Yadav and Mr. Mahesh at the Aman Vihar Police Station in West Delhi for the purposes of questioning and later released them. The incident took place when Pastor Rajpal Yadav was leading a Vacation Bible School program at Prem Nagar in Delhi. Almost 200 children were in attendance in the program when all of a sudden nearly 40 Bajrang Dal people surrounded the venue and started shouting anti-Christian slogans and interrupted the program. The Bajrang Dal people vandalized the venue and many of them filmed the entire proceedings. Pastor Yadav and Kumar were later taken to the police station but were subsequently let go.
Christians attacked during Sunday prayer meetings at Balrampur, Chhattisgarh
June 5, 2016: A mob of around 30 – 35 RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad members disrupted theSunday worship service being carried out at the home of Mahender Singh at Aara village, Balrampur District. Pastor Alvis Bara, who was leading the meeting, was beaten up badly. Women and children were also targeted by the mob that behaved in an objectionable manner with the women present in the worship service. The mob was reportedly using foul and objectionable language against Christians. The mob took Pastor Bara and a few others and paraded them to the police outpost (Bariyo Chowki) while beating them. Pastor Bara and two other people were kept in the police lockup for more than two days before being released on bail. No action has been taken against the attackers yet.
Christians attacked during Sunday worship service Patna, Bihar
June 5, 2016: Around 25 members of the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad), the right wing student wing of the RSS, stormed a Sunday worship service in Kas Mahal Road, Patna, Bihar. The attackers beat up the Christians present including women and children, as a result many Christians suffered grievous injuries and had to be hospitalized later. The lady Pastor Meera Rani was also beaten up by the mob and suffered fracture and cut under her ear. Her condition was reportedly quite serious. The police has arrested one attacker so far but the ABVP members continue to threaten the Church.
Rev. Vijayesh Lal,