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India: Hindu activists threaten Christian pastors

As Hindu extremist mobs continue to target Christians, all too frequently, police are more sympathetic to the attackers than to the victims, as we see in this case: the Hindu mob surrounded the Christian pastor’s house, and the police took the pastor into custody, not the members of the mob.

Christianity is widely regarded as a foreign faith in India, despite the fact that its presence there goes back to apostolic times.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Hindu activists threaten Christian pastors in India,” by Bijay Kumar Minj, UCA News, July 9, 2021:

Hindu activists in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh have disrupted a prayer service and threatened two Christian pastors in the space of three days for alleged religious conversion.

In the first incident on July 4, Pastor Firoz Bagh was conducting a prayer service at his house in Raipur, the state capital, when 30-40 Hindus surrounded the house and started shouting anti-Christian slogans.

Police took the pastor into custody but released him after a few hours after the intervention of church leaders.

On July 7, Pastor Ramesh Manikpur of Sarora Gogaon was resting at his house in the evening when a Hindu group wrote a slogan hailing Hindu gods on his boundary wall.

“They accused me of religious conversion and even slapped my son. They were around 100 and passing through our lane in a religious procession,” Pastor Manikpur told UCA News.

Pastor Moses Logan, president of the Chhattisgarh State Christian Welfare Society, told UCA News that they had faced similar situations in the state but things were brought under control after the intervention of the administration.

“It is matter of concern and worry for us as some fanatic group members take us for granted and don’t even hesitate to harass and attack us in the name of religious conversion, which is not true,” he said.

“I spoke with Pastor Bagh and he said he has to visit the police station every other day for the investigation. He is very much worried for his family and his faithful. I hope the investigation is over soon.”

Pastor Logan said Pastor Bagh told him that after police took him to the police station, a mob even surrounded the police station and started shouting anti-Christian slogans and accusing him of forced conversions.

“The mob say they will not allow him to conduct any prayer service in the area in near future,” Pastor Logan said.

Pastor Bagh told Asia News that he has been in the ministry for 20 years with the St. Thomas Evangelical Mission, a registered organization.

“I have preached for the last two decades in a rented room and just two years ago I bought this house. Several local people come here for prayer services as it is open to all without any discrimination,” he said.

“My church members are very frightened and feel they are being targeted by extremists.”…

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