Evangelical Fellowship of India News Persecution Watch, June 17, 2011

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Christians Harrassed in Uttrakhand

On 12 June in Bellparao,Nainital, an angry mob barged into the marriage reception of a follower of Christ from a Sikh background, Suresh Chand, accused him and his family of not following Sikh rituals and damaged properties worth about rupees 60,000/-.

At about 5.p.m, the Sikh mob led by Dr Baldev Singh, a relative of Suresh Chand, barged into the wedding reception of Suresh Chand and Aarti Shan, started calling the Christians infidels and damaged furniture, decorations, sound equipments and food.

The police arrived on the spot and took Suresh Chand's elder brother, Amarjit Chand and their father Dharam Chand and the local pastor Rajendra Singh to the station and detained them for the whole night, allegedly as a safety measure. The police released the Christians without charges the next morning.

However, on the same day, the Sikh community forcefully took Dharam Chand and his family to the Gurudwara and pressurised them to perform rituals and reconvert to Sikhism, reported our correspondent.

Speaking to EFI, Amarjit Chand said, "The mob forced us to perform these rituals, but we trust that God will protect and save us. He is a God who heals and protects. We also pray that our testimony of love will win over these brothers for Christ."

Pastor Accused of Forceful Conversion in Madhya Pradesh

On 8 June in Raghatgarh, Sagar, police detained Pastor Daniel Masih after Hindu extremists filed a complaint against him of forceful conversion.

The police took Pastor Masih to the station, questioned him on his activities and detained him for about 10 hours, reported our correspondent Rev. Akhilesh Edgar. Pastor Masih leads an independent house church which is attended by four families regularly.

The next day, the police summoned Pastor Masih to the station again and forced him to put down in writing that he will leave the area. However when the pastor refused, the police refused to offer him any protection if any untoward incident were to take place.

The pastor is living in fear and Evangelical Fellowship of India is keeping in touch with the local authorities to help the pastor.

Three Christians Arrested in Karnataka

Karnataka police arrested three Christians after Hindu extremists verbally abused them and accused them of forceful conversion on 12 June in Bangalore.

Our correspondent reported that Henry Baptist Reuben from St. Rock Church organized a special worship service, Pentecostal Sunday, at his home when Hindu extremists led by Muniraju barged in and started verbally abusing the Christians, accusing them of forceful conversion.

The police arrived on the scene very shortly and took Reuben and two Christian leprosy patients, Rama Murthy and Mr. Mani to the police station and charged them under Section 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

The Christians were sent to the central Jail, Parapana, after they appeared before the District Magistrate. They were later released on bail on 14 June.

Speaking to EFI, Henry said, "All the persons who were gathered there came by their own free will, we never forced anyone." They have been conducting such services for several years now and all the leprosy patients are happy to attend. "The patients told the police they wanted to attend the programme, but the police refused to listen" he added.

Christians Accused of forceful Conversion in Kerala

On 13 June, three women Diana Jean, Shirley Lewis and Catherine Heather from Pennsylvania, United States, and two local Christian men from Kottayam district were detained by the Alappuzha police based on the compliant filed against them of forceful conversion by alleged Hindu extremists group in Thrikkunnappuzha, Kottayam district.

Our correspondent reported that the extremists accused the Christians of distributing pamphlets and promoting Christianity under the pretext of conducting health lessons among the fishing folk of the village and took them to Alappuzha police station

On interrogation, the Americans said that they were tourists and were not involved in any forceful activities. Superintendent of Police, Alappuzha district told EFI that the Christians were released without charges but were told to leave the area.

An Appeal to write to Authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Kerela, Uttrakhand and Madhya Pradesh 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.

Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal
Chief Minister of Uttrakhand
Chief Minister Niwas, Circuit House,
Old Annexe, Cantt. Road,
Dehradun - 248001
(O) Tel: (0135) 2712636 ; 2665090
(O) Fax: (0135) 2665722
(R) Tel: (0135) 2531533 ; 2755101
Email: [email protected]

Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

(O) Tel: (755) 2551581 ; 2551433
(O) Fax: (755) 2551781 ; 2540501

Email: [email protected]

Shri V S Achutanandan
Chief Minister of Kerala
Cliff House, Nanthancode, Thiruvananthapuram
Email: [email protected]

(O) Tel: (0471) 2333812 ; 2332148
(O) Fax: (0471) 2333489
(R) Tel: (0471) 2314853 ; 2318406

Shri B. S. Yediyurappa
Chief Minister of Karnataka

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

Issued By:
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