EFI Persecution Watch, April 09, 2010

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April 09, 2010 

Three Christians Arrested in Durg, Chhattisgarh 

According to EFI correspondent, Akhilesh Edgar, police arrested Pastor Premlal Chhatriys and two Christians Umabai and Sulanbai from Evangelical Christian Church of India on charges of forceful conversion.  

The arrest took place when the extremists encouraged a Hindu woman Agasia Bai who attended the church twice last year on July seeking healing for her sick daughter to file a complaint against the Christians of forceful conversion. On February this year, the daughter died and the Hindu extremists massed up at Bai’s house and forced her to write a police complaint against the Christians of forceful conversion.  

Under the Hindu extremists pressure, the woman submitted a police complaint claiming that the Christians were luring her to convert into Christianity by offering rupees 5000/- and also offering to give her another rupees 5000/- post conversion, and also that Pastor Chhatriys forced her to eat beef on her two visits to the church on July last year.  

Based on the complaint, police arrested three Christians under Sections 3 & 4 of 1958 Religious Freedom Act ( Anti-Conversion Law). With area leaders’ intervention, the Christians were released on bail on April 6.  

Earlier Attacks: 

The same church on December 13, 2009 was attacked by Hindu hardliners when they massed up at the Church’s main gate with Hindu idols and water, forcing the Christians to bow before the Hindu gods while trying to sprinkle Hindu holy water on them, to convert them into Hinduism. The Christians did not oblige.  

Church members Ram Avatar and one identified only as Arjun were detained in the police station for about four hours but were later released without charges.   

Easter Sunday Service Attacked in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh

Hindu extremist allegedly from the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) stopped the Easter Sunday worship (April 4) of Church of North India (CNI) and accused pastor Bhaktu Lakda and church members of forceful conversion in Parsapani, Bilaspur of State of Chhattisgarh.  

According to our correspondent, Akhilesh Edgar, the extremists supported by local people barged into the Easter service, tore gospel pictures, seized Bibles and other gospel literatures and beat up the Christians.  

Police arrived on the scene and made an enquiry into the matter. No First Information Report was registered as of yet.  

Similar Incident: 

A group of about 10 Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal accused the church members of Assembly of God’s church of forceful conversion on March 27 in Parsapani, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. Our correspondent Ahkilesh Edgar reported that the extremist disrupted the special meeting of the church, verbally abused the Christians of their faith and accused them of forceful conversion and stopped the meeting. 

The extremists threatened the Christians of dire consequences if they continue to worship in the area. Both parties submitted a police complaint. But No First Information was registered. 

Kindly continue to pray for Christians in Chhattisgarh.  

Christians attacked in West Bengal

Hindu extremists attacked Christians and ostracized them on March 13 in West Bengal .  

According to our correspondent, A.K Rai, the Hindu extremists beat up Gospel for Asia missionary Gangi Ram and 13 new followers of Jesus Christ for their faith.  

The extremists beat up the Christians whenever they show their faces in public, destroyed their homes, denied them access to the Well and threatened them more harm if the Christians continue to worship in the village, according to reports.  

Please pray for peace in the area and for strength and wisdom for all the Christians in the area.   

12 Pastors Arrested in Kodagu, Karnataka 

Karnataka police arrested 12 pastors on charges of forceful conversion and sent them to jail on April 6.  

The arrests took place after the Hindu extremists filed police complaint against the Christians of forceful conversion.  

The Hindu extremists along with three police officials barged into the home of a Christian identified only as Vijay when the pastors were having a prayer meeting cum lunch. The extremists accused the pastors of forceful conversion and took them to the police station for questioning.  

The police later arrested the pastors under Sections 298, 295 (A), 143 A, 504 & 506 of the Indian Penal Code for uttering words intend to hurt the religious feelings of others, defiling a place of worship, intent to insult the beliefs of others, punishment, intention to provoke breach of peace, criminal intimidation respectively and sent them to Virajpet jail.  

Kindly continue to pray for peace and religious tolerance in Karnataka. 

An appeal to write to authorities 

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Karnataka respectively, 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..

Dr. Raman Singh
Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh
Chief Minister Niwas, Raipur
Email: [email protected]  

(O) Tel: (0771) 2221000 ; 2221001 ; 2331001
(O) Fax: (0771) 2221306
(R) Tel: (0771) 2331000  

Shri Buddhadev Bhattacharya
Chief Minister of West Bengal
Writers Building, Kolkata - 700 001
Email: [email protected]  

(O) Tel: (033) 22145555; 22145588
(O) Fax: (033) 22145480  

Chief Minister of Karnataka
Shri B. S. Yediyurappa  

(O) Tel: +91 080 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: +91 080 22281021 ; 22253660
E-mail: [email protected]  

Governor of Karnataka
Shri Hans Raj Bhardwaj   
Raj Bhavan Road,
Bangalore - 560 001  
Tel: + 91 80 22254102 ; 22253555
Fax: +91 80 22258150
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