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How Hindu Extremists Victimize Pastors in India

Indian Christians protesting violence against them

In India, Hindu extremists have continued to victimize pastors by using anti-conversion laws as an excuse to attack Christians, thereby limiting church activities.

UK-based Release International (RI) — www.releaseinternational.org – said in a recent report that pastors were beaten and cars burnt amid accusations of forced conversion.

The RI report stated that on June 23, two pastors, Pastors Shidu Kurialose and Nithya Vachanam from Bethel Assembly of God Church were seriously injured when men attacked them with iron bars at a tea stall in Chandapura, Karnataka state, accusing them of converting people to Christianity by force. They were subsequently admitted in a hospital after the assault.

It noted that before that attack some extremists reported to be from the Bajrang Dal organization burnt at least seven vehicles belonging to the Jesus with Us Pentecostal Church in Mathikere, Tamil Nadu.

RI noted that the attack followed efforts by Hindu extremists to prevent the church holding a four-day convention and that in the event, the gathering went ahead in a different location, under police protection.

Further to that, in Uttar Pradesh, Hindu extremists reported to be from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh organization raided a meeting at Jesus Church in Firozabad on June 21 and threatened to harm Pastor Breymond Shastri if he continued to lead worship there adding that they also persuaded the local media to publish an article accusing the pastor of forcible conversion.

“Pray that the church in India will remain steadfast in their faith also pray that Indian politicians and law enforcers will take a tougher line on extremist elements who are falsely accusing Christians of forced conversion,” said their report.

It needs to be noted that eight Indian states have introduced anti-conversion laws – though one, Tamil Nadu, has since repealed them.

Release International is a United Kingdom based registered charity organization and through its international network of missions, it serves persecuted Christians in 30 countries around the world.

It does this by supporting pastors and Christian prisoners, and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles; and working for justice. And for more information on their activities, log on to their website: www.releaseinternational.org

Success Kanayo Uchime, Assist News Service

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