July 28, 2009:
Pastor, five believers arrested in Shimago, Karnataka
A mob of about 20 Hindu extremists attacked a Christian prayer meeting and accused them of forceful conversion on July 19 in Pillingiri, Shimago, Karnataka.
At about 7:00 p.m., pastor Chinnadurai and church members from the Pentecostal Mission were having a prayer meeting at a believer’s house identified as Shantamma when the extremists barged in, threatened and assaulted the Christians, reported an EFI correspondent Rev. Noel Kotian.
The Hindu extremists lodged a police complaint in the name of Shri R. Ganesh accusing the Christians of forceful conversion. The Hindu extremists massed up at the police station and pressurized the police to arrests the Christians.
Shimago rural police station, head constable M. T Uttapa told EFI that six Christians were arrested under Sections 143, 295 (a) to be read with 149 of the Indian Penal code for punishment, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class with unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object respectively. The Christians were released the next day.
Four Christians workers arrested in Bangalore, Karnataka
Karnataka police on July 18 arrested four Christians on the basis of the complaint lodged by a Hindu extremist identified as M. Prakash of forceful conversion in Gnanbharathi, Bangalore.
"Although Indian constitution allows the preaching and propagation of any religion, the Hindu extremists opposed the four Christians as they were distributing gospel tracts on their way to a prayer meeting, accused them of forceful conversion and beat them up," reported EFI correspondent, Rev. Noel Kotian.
At about 5:30 p.m. the extremists barged into the Christian prayer meeting, dragged the four Christians out to the street, and mercilessly thrashed them for about an hour. Later, they took the Christians to the Gnanabharathi police station and filed a police complaint against them of forceful conversion.
The Christians were arrested under Sections 295 (A) and 153 (B) of the Indian Penal Code for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration respectively.
The Christians were produced in the Additional City Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court at 11:00 p.m. and were released on bail the next day.
Local dailies and television channels covered the incident.Kindly pray for peace, justice and religious tolerance in Karnataka.
Children learning centre, pastor attacked in Ambala, Haryana
Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked children learning centre and urged the Christians to vacate their place on July 19 in Ambala, Haryana.
According to an EFI correspondent, Rev. Isaac Dutta, Hindu extremists attacked Pastor Daniel Kamaraj and his staffs that are running a free tuition programme for children under Children Compassion Ministry and accused them of forceful conversion.
The Hindu extremist barged into the children's learning centre and accused the Christians of indulging in forceful conversion ,mercilessly beat them up and forced them to vacate the area. The Christian workers suffered minor injuries.
The pastor reported the matter to the police station the next day but police officers told him to vacate the building as soon as possible as he alerted trouble by running a school in the area.
Speaking to EFI, pastor Kamaraj said, “We have about 15 students from poor families coming to the school everyday for two hours in the afternoon. We are helping these children in their studies under the consent of their parents”
The Christians shifted the learning centre to the pastor house at press time.
Please pray for Children Compassion Ministry, the pastor and all staff and that the school will resume smoothly in the centre.
Worship service disrupted in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
About 50 Hindu extremists from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP or World Hindu Council) attacked the Sunday baptism worship service of Assembly of God Bethel Church and accused the Christians of forceful conversion on July 26 in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal.
Akhilesh Edgar, an EFI correspondent reported that at about 11:00 a.m., a mob of Hindu extremists shouting anti- Christian slogans barged into the worship service and disrupted the meeting.
The extremists accused pastor K.A Goerge of trying to forcibly convert a women identified only as Kunti to Christianity and apposed the ongoing baptism ceremony. The police soon arrived at the spot and Kunti testified that she has decided to follow Jesus Christ of her own free will and has been seeking to be baptized for the past five years. The pastor had finally agreed to baptize her at the Sunday service, she added.
The Hindu extremist lodged a police complaint but no First Information Report was registered.
Continue to pray for Madhya Pradesh, courage and boldness for all the Christians.
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
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