Persecution in two states of India

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EFI News

May 01, 2009:

Hate-mongers attack statue of Jesus Christ in Pedong, West Bengal

A group of miscreants attacked the statue of Jesus Christ installed in the historical place of Pedong, and damaged it severely on April 25 in Kalimpong, West Bengal.

EFI correspondent, Rev. Susanta Patra reported that some groups damaged the statue of crucifixion installed recently on a ‘Cross Hill’ belonging to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

It was reported that the miscreants try to take the 5 foot tall statue of Christ off the cross, breaking the statue badly.

Speaking to EFI, parish priest, Father Peter Lingdamo said. “The police were very concerned and they came to inspect the incident soon after they were informed. We are positive that police protection will be provided should the need arises”

The church did not file a police complaint.

Pedong is predominantly a Christian area and such incident as reported was rare.

Pray that calm will return to the area and for fruitful ministries in the area.

Christians arrested in Chhattisgarh

Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 15 falsely accused a pastor of keeping cartons of alcohol on Church of Christ premises in Chhattisgarh’s state Bilaspur district.

Wilson Lal, an EFI correspondent reported that someone planted about 10 cartons of liquor in Pastor Markus Ram’s parsonage in the church premises in order to implicate the pastor in a false case, as it is illegal to store large amounts of alcohol at home.

The Hindu extremists arrived at the church premises, accused Pastor Ram of illegally storing the liquor, and dragged him to Tarbar police station at 2 p.m., pressuring the local police to file a case against the pastor.

The police took a statement from the pastor, but local Christian leaders met with the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police and Pastor Ram was released at about 2 p.m. the next day.

Police registered First Information Report (FIR) against an unidentified person under Excise Rule 34 (a).

In another incident in Chhattisgarh, police on April 15 arrested Christian social workers on charges of forceful conversion in Bilaspur’s Pratap Chowk area.

Hindu extremists allegedly from the BJP falsely accused Christian social workers travelling in election- duty vehicles of carrying Christian literature and anti-Hindu stickers, reported EFI correspondent, Akhilesh Edgar.

The BJP workers found the books and accused the Christians of forcible conversion and trying to “pollute the minds” of people against Hinduism.

The Christians vehemently denied the charges claiming that the BJP workers must have planted the books in the jeep to implicate them in a false case.

The police registered a case against the social workers under Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code for quilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.

The Christians were detained for about eight hours and were later released on bail.

The occurrence of such incident has been frequent in India, especially in Chhattisgarh state of late. Please pray for the suffering Christians, for justice, peace and religious tolerance in Chhattisgarh.

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