July 16, 2009:
Church shut down in Karnataka
Karnataka Police disrupted the Sunday worship service, closed the Indian Apostolic Church claiming that the church was opened with an illegal license, and issued arrest warrants against two pastors and seven believers on June 7 in Ajihalli village, Davanagere, Karnataka.
Rev Noel Kotian, an EFI correspondent reported that the village head along with the Hindu extremists on May 29 interrupted the prayer meeting conducted by pastor Prem Prasanth and questioned him on the permission of the church site. The pastor told them he had obtained permission from the village head but the latter denied issuing license to the Christians.
On June 25, the village head sent a notice canceling the license for the church building to pastor Prem Prasanth. The order also forbids the conduct of religious activities in the building, warning the Christians that the church building would be demolished on 12 July if the Christians do not obliged.
On July 7, the police disrupted the worship service and closed the church. The same day, the pastors and other members of the church went to Channagiri police station informing the officers that they had obtained the license from the village head.
However, the police officials filed a case against the Christians under section 143,147,323,341,506 to be read with 149 of the Indian Penal Code for punishment, punishment for rioting, punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, punishment for wrongful restraint, and punishment for intimidation with every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offense committed in prosecution of common object respectively.
On 10 July, the court issued bail to the Christians .The case is going on in the Court.
Please pray that the church will resume peacefully and boldness and strength for all the church members.
Christian’s house construction damaged in Madhya Pradesh
Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal damaged a Christian house and threatened to kill the owner on July 7 in Dhindoi, Madhya Pradesh.
Christian legal Association general secretary, Tehmina Arora reported that a mob of Hindu extremists accused a Christian identified as Rakesh Kumar of building a church and damaged his house construction.
The extremists went to the site, opposed the construction, accusing Kumar of building a church, verbally abused him for his faith and damaged the construction’
Rakesh Kumar obtained the land from his uncle and started building his house on the first week of June .The attacked and threats against him has been going on since then, according to reports.
Kumar claimed that the construction was not meant for a church but he personally builds it for his house but the extremists were unable to listen to reason in their prejudices.
On July 12, Kumar received a letter from the extremists threatening to murder him.
Please pray for justice and religious tolerance in Madhya Pradesh.
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