After facing threats, Pastor flees village, Uttar Pradesh
Although the Constitution of india gives us the freedom to organize peaceful gatherings to worship at ones personal facilities, today we are witnessing a rise in cases where religious fanatics along with government servants take the liberty to disrupt and cause a nuisance during any Christian gatherings.
For over centuries now, Christianity has come to be known as a faith that is defined by peace. Christians all over the world believe in Jesus Christ whom, in his teachings encourages us to love our enemies, to overcome evil with good, to forgive our enemies, and how we could be set free from our evil ways etc. These were a few of the many teachings of Christ that Pastor Santosh Jaiswal advocated in his village.
Over a 1000 people gathered every Sunday at a Church lead by Pastor Santosh in the Bahraich District of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
At 32 years of age, Pastor Santosh is a passionate Christian who met Jesus Christ 3 years ago and accepted him as his personal Saviour and Lord. Gripped with the love of Jesus, he couldn’t help but share the gospel of love to his fellow villagers where he was born and raised, so that they could also experience Christ’s saving grace and enjoy an abundant life. 6 months ago, he began gathering a Church at an open field that belonged to his sister Kunti Devi.
On Sunday, 13/10/19 a dozen policemen came from Hardi Police Station and stopped the worship service without any solid reason apart from claiming that there was religious conversions taking place and no permission was taken to conduct a meeting.
Two days later, on 15/10/19, local Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) along with a few others showed up and asked for the temporary structure, that served as a shelter for the church gathering on the field to be removed. They left after warning the wife and mother of Pastor Santosh against having any more Sunday worship.
Pastor Santosh Jaiswal fled from his home after being continually and repeatedly harrassed by the village fanatics and local administration. His family has also moved out of the village because the locals are threatening to take the pastors life.
Speaking to Persecution Relief from a safe house the troubled Pastor said “I am very very sad. I wonder why the administration is doing these things instead of supporting me. Why are they supporting the fanatics? What is my mistake? Is it because I am trying to spread the love and harmony of Jesus Christ to the villagers? am I being persecuted because I am talking about the devil coming to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus who has come to give us an abundant life?
Requesting prayers, the Pastor shared that he is very concerned about his church that is currently without a shepherd.
Br Thakur Deen a associate of Pastor Santosh was arrested and False FIR (First information Report) has been filed by the fanatics against Pastor his wife and Pastors mother. Church Pray for their safety.
Persecution Relief has recorded 330 incidents of hate crime against Christians in 2016, 440 incidents in 2017, 477 incidents in 2018 and till August 2019 we have recorded 302 incidents of Christian Persecution against Christians in India.
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