Evangelical Fellowship of India News Persecution Watch, November 25, 2011

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Pastor beaten up, forced to stop worship by villagers in Raipur, Chhattisgarh

A mob of about 200 Hindu radicals disrupted a worship service and attacked Pastor Naresh Sahu on November 6th at about 11 am in Parsada village, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

As per reports received from Rev. Akhilesh Edgar EFI assistant Sectary Coordinator, while the Sunday worship service was being conducted, a large group of Hindu fundamentalist gathered in front of the house of pastor Sahu and forcibly stopped the worship service. The miscreants verbally abused the pastor and later dragged him out of his house and beat him up brutally.

The mob then tore the Bibles, destroyed all the church materials and threw it into a nearby pond.

EFI spoke to Inspector Anup, Police in-charge of Abhanpur Police Station who informed us that the pastor was sent to Abhanpur Hospital for treatment by the police officials and a complaint has been filed by both the parties. Pastor Naresh filed complaint against Komal Sahu, Dinesh Sahu, Laltu Sahu, Manglu Nisad, Nathu Nisad and Hira Sahu.

Later, Pastor Naresh met the former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Ajit Jogi and submitted a letter stating all the happenings.

However, with the intervention of Shri Ajit Jogi, police went to the village and issued a notice to both the parties to resolve the rising dispute.

5 Pastors Arrested in Pandariya town, Kawardha in Chhattisgarh

Three pastors belonging to the Grace Church of God Welfare Society along with two missionaries were falsely accused of forcible conversion and were arrested by the Kukdhur police on November 22nd in Pandariya town, Kawardha in Chhattisgarh.

Mr. T. Daniel, founder and Secretary of Grace Church of God Welfare Society, told EFI that a mob of around 25 Hindu radicals led by one Raghu Pathak along with the Block officer Uttam Singh reached the venue at about 6 pm where the worship service was about to be conducted.

The fundamentalist disrupted the service and accused the pastor Jivan Tigga (57), Leku Sahu and Madhav and missionaries Santosh and Itwari Lal of forcible conversions.

Later, the police came at the venue and arrested the pastors under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Presently, the pastors have been released on bail.

5 Christians and a child arrested and detained in Hassan, Karnataka

On November 12, five Christians along with a 4 year old child were detained in the in Belur , Krishnarajnagar , Karnataka.

The incident occurred on Saturday at about 2 pm when sister Mani, along with Ms. Gangamma, Ms. Padmavathy and her 4 year old child, Mr. Raju and Mr. Varun Chakravarthy went to Belur to attend a prayer meeting.

After the prayer meeting, they were returning to Krishnarajnagar and were waiting for the Bus at the Belur Bus Stand. Suddenly, a group of around 10 Bajrang Dal activists stopped the Christians and started asking them questions and assaulted Raju and Varun and alleged them to be involved in forcible conversions. The activists informed the Harehally police station.

The sub-inspector of police Mr.Venkatesh and other officers arrived and took the believers along with the 4 year old child to the police station for questioning. Police charged the Christians with deliberate acts intended to insult religious feelings under section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.

After detaining the innocent Christians overnight, they were produced before the Magistrate on Sunday.

The Sub Inspector informed EFI that Ms. Mani, Ms. Gangamma and Padmavathy, who was with her 4-year-old child, were released on bail the following day. Later, Raju and Varun have been sent to Hassan Jail and were released on bail on November 16.

An Appeal to write to Authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and Karnataka appealing to her 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 D V Sadananda Gowda
Chief Minister of Karnataka

Email: [email protected]
(O) Tel: (080) 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: (080) 22353115

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

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