April 20, 2009:
A mob of about 25 Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal disrupted a Sunday worship meeting and vandalised a church on April 19 in eastern Maharashtra’s state Nagpur.
According to an EFI correspondent, Tehmina Arora, at about 10:40 a.m., Hindu extremists armed with sticks, swords and knives barged into Douglas Memorial Church shouting slogans, “Jai Shri Ram”, “Jai Hanuman” when the Sunday morning service was in progress and attacked the Christians.
As the church members dispersed in fear, the hardliners went on a rampage and destroyed church furniture, Bibles, hymnals and the mission school bus park in front of the church.
“As I was preaching, a dozen young boys shouting “Jai Shri Ram” entered and starts beating the church members with sticks” Rev. Mark Madhukar Sakharpekar told EFI, “they even threw a knife towards me which fortunately missed the mark.”
The extremists also threatened the pastor of dire consequences if he conducts worship meetings in future.
The pastor filed a police complaint in Savner police station.
The police arrested seven extremists under Sections 141, 142,147,149,427 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Police Crime No. 68/09.
Please pray for Pastor Sakharpekar and his church and for religious tolerance in Maharashtra
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India
Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations