EFI News: Persecution in three states of India

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May 06, 2009:

Christian workers attacked in Mumbai

About 30 Hindu extremists from the Swami Narendra Maharaj on 5 May attacked a Christian revival meeting, injuring 10 believers including a five-year-old girl in Mumbai, Maharastra.

At around 1:00 p.m., a mob of Hindu extremists forcefully entered into a meeting organised by ‘Vasai Taluka Christian Pastors Association’ attended by 200 Christians. After closing the doors and windows of the hall on all sides, the hardline Hindus urged the Christians to chant “Jai Shri Ram” (Praise lord Ram) and started beating the believers when they refused to recite the Hindu devotional, reported EFI correspondent.

Pastor James Samuel received hospital treatment and had five stitches to his head while about 10 others including a five-year-old child were left with bruises.

Five extremists were arrested and charged under Section 147, 148, 326, 323, 427 of the Indian Penal Code for rioting, unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, mischief causing damaged to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act respectively.

Please pray for strength and boldness for all the suffering Christians and for peace in Mumbai.

Prayer meeting disrupted in Chhattisgarh

Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal (Youth wing of World Hindu Council) on May 3 attacked an afternoon prayer meeting, burned Bibles and Christian literatures in Bara Koni Area, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

According to an EFI correspondent, Rev. Akhilesh Edgar, about 12-15 extremists barged into the prayer meeting hosted by a believer identified as Neeshi Nath and disrupted the meeting. The extremists burned Bibles, gospel tracts, broke up crockery and other household goods.

The extremists verbally abused the Christians and their faith, further threatening them with serious consequences if they continue with Christian worship meetings and activities in the area. The Christians filed a police complaint and First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in Koni police station. No arrests had been made at press time.

Please pray for justice and for the Christians in Chhattisgarh.

Pastor threatened in Himachal Pradesh

In Himachal Pradesh state’s Salon district, Hindu extremists accused Believer Church’s pastor of forceful conversion and threatened him not to conduct future worship meetings on 2 May. About five extremists led by Sunil Sheena, vice president of Valmiki Sabha stopped pastor Suresh Masih Bhatti on his way back home after visiting Christian homes in the area, reported general secretary Tehmina Arora, Christian Legal Association.

The extremists accused the pastor of forceful conversion, verbally abused his faith and warned him not to conduct worship meetings again or face serious consequences.

Church representative, Rev. Biju Solomon told EFI that there was no attempted forcible conversion, “The Police registered FIR against the attackers, and Sunil Sheena on the order of the police made public apology to the pastor.”

Praise God for Justice and please pray for peace and religious tolerance in Himachal Pradesh.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
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