AG Church Pastor kidnapped, Jammu
Pastor Packiyaraj of the AG Church, runs a house church in the home of Sister Jyothi (one of the Christian believers) for the past one year in Nagmani, Jammu.
Every Sunday around 10am, believers gather at Sister Jyothi’s house for Sunday worship. They gathered as usual last Sunday (6 Oct, 2019) at 11am. Pastor Packiyaraj had just said ‘Amen’ at about 1 pm when around ten religious fanatics barged in and started abusing the Pastor and dragged him out. They slapped and kicked him. They were joined by a few more fanatics who were outside.
Then they forcefully made Pastor Packiyaraj sit on a motorcycle and they took him to a godown belonging to one of the fanatics and there they continued questioning him and slapping him.
After some time, they made him sit in a grey car and took him around 3 to 4 km away to a village and started questioning him again.
They asked him “Who are you ? Where have you come from? Why are you converting people ? How much money are you getting?
Who is paying you all this money? Who else is there in your gang? Who is your boss? Where are you getting the money from etc.” They kept on kicking and beating him throughout.
The ordeal began around 1pm and at around 3:30pm the fanatics took him to Domana Police Station.
Pastor Sajimon, a co-worker, arrived at the scene and informed Persecution Relief and immediately they spoke to Sh. Tejinder Singh-IPS, SSP Jammu and informed him about the entire matter. After a while, the concerned police offical called the founder of Persecution Relief because the SSP had instructed him about the matter.
In the mean time, Rev Samuel Thilak, the Superintendent of AG Church in charge of Jammu spoke to the founder of Persecution Relief, Shibu Thomas, and briefed him about the incident. He also spoke to the police officer and was coordinating everything at the ground level.
Pastors from Jammu reached the police station to help Pastor Packiyaraj and the fanatics recognized Pastor Bijoy another AG Pastor who along with Pastor Packiyaraj were beaten up a few months ago.
Both were taken to the police station and made to sit inside. Later the SHO (Station House Officer) who was not in the station sent the SI (Sub Inspector) and at around 7pm they were released. The fanatics tried to create a lot of issues inside the police station and they wanted to book an FIR (First Information Report) against them and they also falsely accused the Pastors of misbehaving with a woman.
By the grace of God and the help of Bishop Thomas, BOC and the local leaders, they were released without any charges.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Rev Samuel who was very concerned for his co-workers thanked Persecution Relief for all the efforts made.
Persecution Relief has recorded an increasing number of hate crimes against Christians:
330 incidents in 2016
440 incidents in 2017
477 incidents in 2018
302 incidents till August 2019
Church, rise up and pray for the persecuted church in India!
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