EFI Persecution Watch, March 13, 2010

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1. Christians severely injured in Karwar, Karnataka
2. Pastor attacked, prayer meeting disrupted in Mysore, Karnataka
3. Pastor and believers arrested in Chhattisgarh
4. Another Pastor attacked in Kawardha, Chhattisgarh
5. A Christian worker arrested in Chhattisgarh
6. Church burnt in Andhra Pradesh
7. An Appeal to write to authorities

Christians severely injured in Karnataka

On 28 February in Karwar, Karnataka, Hindu extremists allegedly led by municipal councilor accused Christians of forceful conversion and beat them up till they fell unconscious on the road.

At about 6:30 p.m., the extremists led by Raja Gowda barged into the premises of New Life Fellowship Church where two Christians David Lambani and one identified only as Satish were staying. The extremists accused the Christians of forceful conversion, verbally insulted them, dragged them out to the street and beat them up till they fell unconscious on the road, reported our correspondent, Rev Noel Kotian.

Despite the Christians having legal documents for the church site, the area village leaders stopped the church construction on November 2009 and February 2010.

The Christians were rushed to the hospital. Lambani left ear drum was damaged while Satish sustained head injuries and few broken bones.

Police registered First Information Report against the attackers but no arrests had been made at press time.

Please pray for the quick recovery of the Christians, for the church to resume the construction work and for peace and religious tolerance in Karnataka which is ruled by the pro- Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Violence against Christians in the state has become a daily occurrence.

Pastor attacked, prayer meeting disrupted in Mysore, Karnataka

Hindu extremists on March 8 disrupted a prayer meeting and attacked a pastor in Periyapattinam, Mysore , Karnataka.

According to EFI correspondent Rev Noel Kotian, the extremists forcefully entered into the prayer meeting of Gospel in Action Fellowship conducted in a Christian home, verbally abused the Christians of their faith in Jesus and beat up Pastor Ravi Chandran.

The pastor sustained injuries on his left leg and head. A complaint was lodged at Somvarpet police station.

Please pray for the pastor and his ministry.

Pastor and believers arrested in Chhattisgarh

Police arrested six Christians after Hindu extremists lodged a complaint against them of forceful conversion in Kawarda, Chhattisgarh.

According to EFI correspondent, Akhilesh Edgar, a mob of about 50 Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena entered into the felicitous meeting organized by Pastor Jose Thomas in Holy Kingdom school premises.

Apposing the meeting and the Christians, the extremists forcefully entered into the meeting hall, accused the Christians of forceful conversion. Police arrived on the spot and took the Christians to the police station. The Christians were charged under Sections under section 295 (A) 4 of the Indian Penal and Section 3&4 of Chhattisgarh Freedom of Religion Act. The Christians were sent to the Bemetara sub- Jail and were released on bail on March 8.

Another Pastor attacked in Kawardha, Chattisgarh

Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena on March 9 attacked a pastor and warned him to leave the area in Kawardha, Chhattisgarh.

Massing up near the Christian’s house, about 20 Hindu extremists called out pastor Sanatan Masih of The Christian Church from his home and started beating him up, reported our correspondent, Akhilesh Edgar.

In an earlier incidents on February 15, the extremists warned the pastor not to conduct any Christian activity or face dire consequences. On March 3, the extremists broke into The Christian Church and vandalized it.

Pastor Masih sustained injuries in his mouth, on his back and stomach.

The police on March 3 refused to take in the complaint of the Christians. At press time, Pastor Sanatan Masih relocated for safety measure.

A Christian worker arrested in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh police on February 20 arrested a Christian worker, Adhwan, for the second time this year in Champa.

Our correspondent, Akhilesh Edgar reported that the police arrested Adhwan on January 23 on charges of forceful conversion and under 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and confiscated his passport. The Christian was sent to Champa jail and released on bail on 27 January.

Again, charging him of forceful conversion and under151 of the CrPC, the police made another arrest against him on Feb 20. He was released on bail the next day.

Advocate Anurag Nath told EFI that the preacher was twice arrested on baseless ground.

The customary practice in India and especially in Bharatiya Janata Party run state, Chhattisgarh is for Hindu extremists to raise false allegations on the slimmest of pretexts and get police to make hurried arrests, reported church leaders.

Kindly pray for peace and religious tolerance , also for strength and boldness for all the Christians in the state.

Church burnt in Andhra Pradesh

Suspected Hindu extremists set aflame newly built church on February 18 in Kalalada Mandal, Chitoor, Andhra Pradesh.

According to EFI correspondent Rev. Madhusudan Das, a group of miscreants broke into the church of Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) in the early morning, splashed several gallons of kerosene and set it ablaze.

The church was burned to the ground with lost estimated around 3 lakhs. Area Christian leaders filed a police complaint. District superintendent of Police visited the spot and assured the Christians full investigation into the matter.

Please pray for peace and religious tolerance in Andhra Pradesh.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Prime Minister; Chairman, National Minorities Commission; Governor and Chief Minister of Karnataka 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..

Hon'ble Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Room No. 152,
South Block,
New Delhi, 110001

(O) Tel: +91 11 23012312
(O) Fax: +91 11 23016857

National Commission for Minorities
5th Floor,
Lok Nayak Bhavan,
Khan Market,
New Delhi 110 003

Tel: +91 11 24615583
Fax: +91 11 24693302 ; 24642645 ; 24698410
Toll Free Number: 1800110088

Email: [email protected]

Governor of Karnataka
Raj Bhavan Road,
Bangalore - 560 001

Tel: + 91 80 22254102 ; 22253555
Fax: +91 80 22258150

Email: [email protected]

Shri B. S. Yediyurappa
Chief Minister of Karnataka

(O) Tel: +91 080 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: +91 080 22281021 ; 22253660
[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