EFI News Persecution Watch July 2, 2010

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July 2, 2010

Christian’s Multipurpose Centre Sealed in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh officials sealed the Mission India building claiming that it belongs to outsiders on June 5 in Bari, Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.

Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) correspondent and EFI Advocacy Desk staff, Amitabha Sarkar reported that Government officials closed down the building which functioned as a Bible study centre and an orphanage claiming that no land in the area can be owned by people who are not natives.

Director of Compassion department, Mission India told EFI that the plot was purchased by the Mission India in 2005 and a building was constructed in 2007. The Mission started using the building for a Bible Study Centre and an Orphanage in 2008.

On July 2008, the Hindu extremists lodged a complaint against Mission India of forceful conversion, demanding the shutdown of the building. Since then, the extremists visited the site accusing the Christian workers of forceful conversion, verbally abusing them of their faith, and threatening to kill them if they did not vacate the site. The extremists continue to harass the Christians to date.

On June 5, Government officials sealed the building. Mission India claimed that the land legally belongs to them and that they are ready to submit all the necessary documents.

At press time, the Christians are looking for a place to rent which will at least accommodate the 10 orphans. The Advocacy Desk of the Evangelical Fellowship of India is taking steps to resolve the matter.

Christian vehicles torched in Tamil Nadu

After opposing a Christian convention on June 17-20, suspected Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal on June 22 burned at least seven vehicles belonging to Jesus with Us Pentecostal Church in Mathikere, Hosur, Tamil Nadu.

Our correspondent reported that about 12,000 Christians met for a three day convention in a private owned land. The extremists staged a protest against the convention by calling on the local authorities to revoke the organizer’s permit and convinced area local Hindu shop owners to close their stores on June 18.

Subsequently, under police protection, Christians moved their meeting to another area eight kilometres from the original site.

Police had earlier arrested five extremists for disturbing the convention. However, they were released on Tuesday morning and the cars were torched on the same night.

Christian priest shot in Bihar

Suspected Hindu extremists on June 28 with their face masked shot a catholic priest, seriously injured him in Mokama, about 100 km from Bihar’s capital Patna.

Our correspondent Amitabha Sarkar reported that three masked men barged into the parochial house at Catholic Church of Mokama and shot at Fr Michael Ignatius, the bullets pierced his arms.

The priest was bleeding profusely when he was rushed to the emergency department of the hospital. Thereafter he received an immediately operation. His condition at press time was reported to be stable.

Officer in charge of Mokama town police station informed EFI that three people were arrested and police investigation is underway.

In the same area five years ago, a catholic priest Father Matthew Ujaytal was killed in an attack by suspected Hindu extremist assailant.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu appealing to them to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence.

Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal
Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

(O) Tel: +91 177 2625400 ; 2625819
(O) Fax: +91 177 2625011

Shri M. Karunanidhi
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

(O) Tel: +91 44 25672345
(O) Fax: +91 44 25671441
Email: [email protected]

Shri Nitish Kumar
Chief Minister of Bihar

(O) Tel: +91 612 2223886 ; 2224784
Email: [email protected]

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