The Church of God in Raipur Chhattisgarh has become the target of fascist Hindutva forces as the dharma sena accompanied by the police cross all limits and infringe on the rights of the minority community in the city.
The Church of God was having a 5 day convention from the 16th to the 21st October 2007 during which they, like any other Church, had a baptism ceremony for their members. What they did not know was that the Dharma Sena recorded the baptism ceremony secretly and passed on the video to the police citing it as a (sic) proof that the Church was indulging in forcible conversions.
The police instead of registering a case against the Dharma Sena of intruding in privacy, registered a case against the Church of God. In the evening the police further tried to disrupt the Church service by entering the Church premises forcefully accompanied by the Dharma Sena activists. The CSP Shashi Mohan Singh, the SP Umed Lal Singh, the Raipur magistrate and Dharma Sena activists were the ones tried to break in the Church. They left only when the Church gave them a list of the people baptized and after interrogating some of the newly baptized members. This is an out and out trampling of the fundamental rights of the minority community and can only be termed as “dadagiri” in the best possible terms.
The Church of God with membership of over a thousand is easily capable of bringing the city to a standstill but the chose to look otherwise and were rewarded with stone pelting in the nights.
For the last few days the Church has been regularly been pelted by stones and the Dharma Sena officials are giving slanderous statements on the local TV channels. The recent threat made by the Dharma Sena chief is that, “We will go all out and destroy them (Christians).” With the BJP in power in the state, what else can one expect?