Monday, July 30, 2007

Nuns arrested in Orissa

Baripada (Orissa), July 28: Two Catholic nuns were Saturday arrested after two girls, who studied at the residential school run by the Catholic church at Baghamara, 30 km from here, accused them of physical torture and forcing them to attend prayer.

Sister Mary and Sister Prema were arrested by the police this morning and a case has been registered against them under sections 323 and 506 of IPC and Section 4 of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, SP Sanjay Kumar Singh said.

Two girls, Sarojini Murmu (14) of Nachipur village and Anjana Behera (11) of Titial village under Khunta police station, who had been studying at the residential school Bijay Sadan at Baghamara, had fled from the school on July 20, he said.

They had allegedly told their parents that they had been physically tortured and made to clean toilets and the school poultry. An FIR was lodged by them at the Badasahi police station by the two girls on July 26 last.

Father Isaac, a priest from the Catholic diocese at Balasore, who had rushed here following the development, told that charges had been "cooked up against the two nuns".

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pastor attacked in Raipur

Pastor Vikas Masih was attacked by the Dharam Sena ot Thelipancha Ring Road, Raipur, Chattisgarh State, at 1 pm on 6th July 2007.

On 5th Juy, the Dharam Sena accosted him as he was returning from a prayer meeting and threatened to beat him up and ensure that he could no longer work in the area. This afternoon, at about 12.30 a group of Dharam Sena Activists went to his house at Bhatapara , dragged him out and beat him up severely.

They also took him to the Thellipancha Police Station five Kms from his house church dragging him .

There was a huge crowd at the police station and local Pastors of Raipur reached the Police Station to give support to Pastor Vikas Masih.

The police took Pastor Vikas for first aid at 4 pm.
A case was registered against the Pastor under IPC. section 298 (uttering words ,etc; with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person)

But his attackers were set free.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Christian attacked in Uttarakhand

Two Gospel for Asia native missionaries, Rajat Tanak and Savir Santosh, were forced to seek shelter in a sugarcane field to escape a group of hostile anti-Christian extremists in Uttarakhand, India.

Rajat and Savir were traveling to a village where a GFA-related church pastor, Adil Mehal, had invited them to show Man of Mercy, an Indian-made film about the life of Jesus. As the two were walking with their film equipment, a man stopped them and expressed interest in seeing the film. However, when Rajat and Savir invited him to come to the showing, the man’s demeanor suddenly changed. He accused them of violating the state’s anti-conversion law.

“You are trying to convert people to Christianity by using bribes,” the man yelled.

As the man shouted the accusations, other people from the area gathered around them and began questioning them. The missionaries answered their questions truthfully, telling them they were not forcing anyone to become a Christian and were not using unlawful practices. The people finally let Rajat and Savir go, but not without threatening them first.

Continuing on their trip to show the film, Rajat and Savir were stopped again by a different group of anti-Christian extremists.

The group snatched the Man of Mercy DVDs and sound equipment from the missionaries and threw it on the ground. When Rajat and Savir tried to pick the DVDs up, one of the extremists stomped on the discs. Then, the extremists beat up Rajat and Savir and forced them to go to a local shop. The owner of the shop was the extremist group leader. He also began accusing them of illegally converting people to Christianity.

The group was going to take the missionaries’ LCD projector, but first they allowed Rajat and Savir to go outside with two escorts. During this time, they ran into some nearby sugarcane fields in an effort to save the projector. Because the fields were so dense, the two missionaries were able to escape.

Rajat and Savir waited in the field until the extremists gave up their search, and then they called Pastor Adil to tell him what had happened. When the pastor heard about their situation, he cancelled their scheduled film showing in his village. The local Bible colleges and GFA main office also began praying for their safe return.

The missionaries waited in the sugarcane field until 3 a.m., when they felt it would be safe to venture out into the darkness. Rajat and Savir walked for three hours until they got to a main road, then caught a bus going to a village where a GFA district supervisor lives. They finally reached the safety of his home later that day.

When members of the extremist group found out that Rajat and Savir were working with Pastor Adil, they went to his house, but he was not there. They told his wife, who answered the door, that they would kill Pastor Adil if he ever allowed the film team to come to their village.

For a while, Pastor Adil had to conduct his ministry in secret because of the extremists’ threats. Now, he is able to freely minister in the area himself, but the extremists told him he cannot bring missionaries in from other places. Rajat has continued film ministry in other villages, and Savir is now working to plant a church in Uttarakhand.

Pastor Adil requests prayer that he will be able to continue his ministry in the village. He also asks for prayer that the extremists will come to know the Lord. Also pray that Rajat and Savir’s ministries will be fruitful, and many will see Christ’s love through them.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pastor attacked in Chhattisgarh

On July 1, 2007 in Rouabandha, Bilainagar, Durg District of Chhattisgarh, about 60 to 70 Bajrang Dal activists attacked Pastor Israel during a church service. Around 11am, the activists interrupted the worship service of Living Grace Ministries church. Besides beating the pastor, they destroyed musical instruments which cost approximately Rs. 15,000 and stole Bibles which they later burnt at the central market in Rouabandha. Also, Mr. Ravi Kumar, a believer who tried to protect the pastor, was seriously injured, with broken teeth and facial injuries.

Pastor Israel received many threatening calls from Hindutva activists during the past two months. Also, on 5 May 2007, the same group of people beat and harassed one of the families who attend the church.

The attackers fabricated a story of fraudulent conversions after an unknown person complained that Pastor Israel had offered Rs. 10,000 to convert to Christianity. They activists used this report as a reason for their attack.

Pastor Israel and his family have been serving in the town for the last 12 years.

FIR has not been filed by either party. Police said they are investigating the incident and will protect the Christian community.

Christian attacked again in MP and Chhattisgarh

2nd July 2007

Around 40 - 45 Bajrang Dal people attacked Pastor Amos Singh and his wife as they were ministering in Reva, Madhya Pradesh in a ECI Church around 1:00 pm today.

Pastor Amos Singh originally from Balaghat is a famous speaker and Christian leader from Madhya Pradesh. He was resting in his room when the attack took place. The attackers suddenly broke into the campus of the Church and broke open the door of the room where Pastor Amos was relaxing. They started beating him with iron rods and pipes and assaulted him with knives. When his wife tried to intervene even she was not spared and has got a knife cut on her cheek.

Along with beating them the attackers also beat up people who had gathered for prayer and reports verify that around 6 - 7 people are seriously wounded including a woman whose head was cut open as a result of the beatings.

The attack took place suddenly and Christians were caught unaware, but local Christian leaders are saying that it was a well planned move by the Hindutva goons.

Last heard of the police had taken the victims for Medical examination and no FIR was filed.

Yesterday Pastor Israel and his wife from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh were also attacked and beaten up mercilessly by the Hindutva goons.