The persecution of Christians in India continues to escalate. Note that this is not just mob violence, but is in this case (and others we have seen), the persecution is sanctioned by Indian officials: “Police broke up a congregational gathering of 6,000 worshippers in northern India on Tuesday (Oct. 15) after Hindu extremists leveled false charges of black magic, arms possession and forcible conversion against the pastor.”
As Christianity continues to grow in the country, Hindu radicals are feeling increasingly threatened, and are lashing out more frequently, with no pushback from law enforcement officials. Please pray that peace would prevail for the Christians in India, and that the light of Holy Orthodoxy would again dawn in this land to which St. Thomas the Apostle first brought the Gospel.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.
“Hindu Extremists, Police Shut Down Worship Services in Uttar Pradesh, India,” Morning Star News, October 18, 2019:
HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Police broke up a congregational gathering of 6,000 worshippers in northern India on Tuesday (Oct. 15) after Hindu extremists leveled false charges of black magic, arms possession and forcible conversion against the pastor, sources said.
An administrative officer from Bahraich District, Uttar Pradesh, arrived with police in Pandeypurwa village, in Hardi police jurisdiction, announcing that the outdoor venue for the gathering had to be vacated by 8 a.m., said 23-year-old pastor Santosh Jaiswal.
“At least 6,000 were present for prayers, and within minutes the congregation scattered, and the police dismantled the stage and barricades,” Pastor Jaiswal told Morning Star News. “I have received information that I have been booked for insulting religious beliefs and for possessing arms, but I had never spoken about any religions. I don’t possess any weapons.”
The administrative officer, Surendranath Tripathy, and officer Shankar Prasad investigated allegations of forced conversion and found no evidence against Jaiswal, but police ordered him to stop the worship services, the pastor said. He relocated to the area to proclaim Christ among rural villagers on the border with Nepal less than seven months ago, he said.
Pastor Jaiswal said that officers Tripathy and Prasad accused him of performing black magic on Hindus.
“About a week before inspection, a Brahmin [high caste Hindu] journalist came to Sunday worship with cameras,” Pastor Jaiswal said. “He videotaped the congregation lifting up their hands and praying, and some groaning as they were held by evil spirits, and he also interviewed some people who experienced healing. Soon the local news media reported the prayers as black magic rituals, and that a Christian priest is promoting blind belief.”
The police officers parroted the same accusations, he said. Attempts to reach officers Tripathy and Prasad were unsuccessful.
“Some of the members from the congregation came to me and urged me to go into hiding, fearing my arrest,” Pastor Jaiswal said. “I wanted to face the police even if it would lead to my arrest, but I was moved to safety to a believer’s home.”
The First Information Report also names as defendants the pastor’s wife, Kajal Jaiswal, his sister Kunti Devi and a female believer. The open worship venue of about an acre belongs to his sister, who made it available for ministry, he said….