EFI News: Persecution in two States of India

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June 16, 2009

Arson continues in Kandhamal, Orissa

Suspected Hindu extremists on June 2 burned three Christian homes in Sirsapanda, Kandhamal, Orissa.

The arson took place after two days the paramilitary forces sent to protect Christians, began withdrawing from the state.

These houses, which were partially burned in September last year, were completely destroyed in the fire this time.

The Christians identified the ringleaders, but the police have advised them against naming the Hindu extremists, according to reports.

Christian leaders in Orissa see the arson as an aim at stopping the Christians from returning to their village. “Christian properties were seized by the local villagers and having the Christians back in the village means giving back the land, farm to the rightful owners,” said Ashish Parida, an EFI correspondent. “This is one reason why they are thwarting the Christians’ from returning to their respective village,” he added.

About 3000 Christians remain in the camp. Kindly pray for justice and calm to return to Kandhamal.

Pastor attacked in Andhra Pradesh

Hindu extremists allegedly from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) on June 6 attacked a pastor and accused him of forceful conversion on June 6 in Guntur , Andhra Pradesh.

According to an EFI contact, Pastor David Raju was invited by local Christians in Mangalagiri to preach in their church. On his arrival, the extremists mass up and started beating the pastor. They accused the pastor of forceful conversion and of distributing gospel tracts.

The Hindu hardliners took the pastor to the police station alleging forceful conversion. The pastor remained in police custody for 8 hours.

With the help of the local Christian leaders, a compromise was reached where the pastor was permitted to preach in Mangalagiri church.

Kindly pray for Pastor David Raju and for religious tolerance and peace in Andhra Pradesh.

Extremists threaten and attack Christian students

On June 7, Sangh Parivar attacked a group of students distributing gospel tracts in Mahaboonagar, Andhra Pradesh.

A group of students in three jeeps went to distribute Bible tracts in Hanwada village when the Hindu extremists stopped the students and questioned them.

Some students managed to flee the scene but about 13 students were taken to the police station.

The extremists verbally abused the students and accused them of forceful conversion. They threatened the students of dire consequences if they continue with Christian activities in the area.

The police assured the extremists that they will made an enquiry into the matter and once the extremists left the police station, they released the students.

Pray for fresh anointing, courage, boldness for all the suffering Christians

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