September 19, 2011
Prayer Meeting Disrupted in Madhya Pradesh
On Sept. 1 in Sabaspura, Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, alleged Hindu extremists barged into the prayer meeting of Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) and accused the Christians of forceful conversion.
According to information reaching EFI, at about 1 p.m, the extremists led by Narendra Singh Chauhan and the village head, Mahendra S. Khirare barged into the fasting prayer meeting of FMPB conducted by Pastor (s) D. Wilson and Jebraj Bardhan.
"We have just started the meeting and we were singing when the extremists entered and accused us that we are forcefully converting people." Pastor D. Wilson told EFI. After the extremists verbally abused us for an hour, the village head informed the police, he added.
The police soon arrived on the scene and took Pastor Wilson and his wife, Pastor Bardhan and his wife and their child along with 20 church members to the station. The extremists also followed them and swelled up at the police station, shouting anti- Christian slogans and demand the arrests of the Christians.
The police questioned the church members whether any forceful conversion is taking place in the church. All the believers told the police that they have decided to follow Jesus willingly and that no one has forced them, reported Pastor Wilson.
The EFI Advocacy Desk intervened and spoke to the Sub Inspector Sashikant Chaurasia of Bistan Police Chowki. He informed EFI that the police had taken the Christians to the police station for safety reasons as the other group was pressuring them to arrest the Christians under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
However, the police released the Christians without charges at about midnight and the police dropped them in their respective homes.
7 Christians Arrested In Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh police on Aug. 3 arrested a pastor, five of his evangelistic team members and a local bystander after Hindu extremists filed a complaint against them of forceful conversion in Ramagundam, Karimnagar.
Our correspondent Rev. Madhusudan Das reported that the Christian team was on an evangelistic outreach that included scrawling Bible verses on the rocks of a hill near a Hindu temple when the extremists appeared and began verbally abusing them, took their cell phones and beat them.
The assailants forced the Christians to erase the Scripture verses and manhandled an onlooker who had been reading them.
Six Christians and the bystander were charged with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and were sent to the district sub-jail of Karimnagar and they were released on bail after two days.
Pastors Arrested In Uttar Pradesh
Police in Katra Divan Kheda, Dhagpur, Unnoa on July 14 arrested pastors Om Prakash, Ganga Prasad, Premshankar, Desh Kumar and one identified only as Vinod of the New India Church of God for leading a prayer meeting in Prakash?s home.
Our correspondent reported that the Hindu radicals ordered Prakash and his family to give up their faith in Christ and stop the services in their home. Police along with the Hindu extremists had earlier threatened Prakash?s wife, Uma, and her three grown daughters if they continued in their faith. The church subsequently stopped Christian activities in the area.
An Appeal to write to Authorities
As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra 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.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
(O) Tel: (522) 2239296
(O) Fax: (522) 2239234
(R) Tel: (522) 221122
(R) Fax: (522) 220550
Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
(O) Tel: (755) 2551581 ; 2551433
(O) Fax: (755) 2551781 ; 2540501
Email: [email protected]
Shri Kiran Kumar Reddy
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
'C' Block, 6th Floor, AP Secretariat
Email: [email protected]
(O) Tel: (040) 23456698 ; 23455205
(O) Fax: (040) 23452498 ; 23454828
(R) Tel: (040) 27763048
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
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