An Unjust Arrest, Uttar Pradesh.
A Team of Christians who were preparing relief hampers for the poor were wrongly arrested after a few religious goons made a false complaint against them, alleging that they were conducting a prayer meeting.
India ranks number 2 in the list of countries by population. According to the United Nations, almost 17.7% of the total world population live in India. Over 176 million people in India live below the poverty line and it is this section of people that have faced the worst struggle during the Nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Scores of people are at risk and in need of food and protection while tens of thousands daily wagers are out of work leaving families homeless and undernourished.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India and is home to 200 million people, 60 million of who are poor, making it one of the poorest States in the country as well. The nationwide lockdown has taken a toll on the poor so bad that all efforts made by the government to bring them relief are proving to be futile. There is a huge speculation about what could kill them first- Covid-19 or Poverty!
Persecution Relief received a direct call from*Pastor Prakash. He lives in one of the 98,000 odd villages in Uttar Pradesh that is facing dire consequences of the lockdown. He has been serving the Lord since 2016 and pastors a small House Church. Amongst a few underprivileged and poor people are the Nanthcommunity that live in and around the same village where the Church fellowships together. Moved with compassion after witnessing the terrible plight of the Nanth people, *Pastor Prakash and his Church were led to contribute Supplies,Groceries to help the distressed community. Being poor themselves, the Church generously contributed towards this cause together.
On the morning of 25th April, *Pastor Prakash and a fellow believer rode from their village to the home of a Christian family who are members of his Church. Before the lockdown, the Church used to gather at this family’s home every Sunday to pray and worship together. The family consists of two elderly brothers, one of whom has 3 young sons. The contribution of supplies was stored at their home. Considering it his responsibility, *Pastor Prakash and a fellow believer had gone to their home to help them make and distribute relief hampers forthe poor and needy.
As they divided soap, masalas, flour, rice and oil into packets, they were suddenly interrupted by a few Police men at their door. When one of the family members inquired, the police came in and arrested all of them alleging that they were breaking Lockdown norms and conducting a Prayer Meeting inside the house.
The Police were eye witness to what was actually happening inside the house but told the family and *Pastor Prakash that they had received a complaint from a few villagers that a prayer meeting was being conducted. They completely disregarded the social work that could have been a blessing to the hunger-stricken community, and arrested the family, *Pastor Prakash and the other Church member and took them to the police Station.
The Station Head Officer and a few other police were not prepared to listen to them at all. They threatened them and beat them with lathis. A case was filed against them and two of their motor bikes were also seized. The village head soon learnt about what had happened. Knowing the family to be good people, he rushed to the Police Station. After speaking to the Police, he managed to get them released. They were allowed to go home, but the motorbikes are still sealed by the authorities.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, *Pastor Prakash explained thatthey wanted to respond to the call of the Prime Minister of helping the poor and needy around them, however he believes that religious fanatics from the village may have recognized him when he entered the village and fabricated a complaint about him conducting a Prayer Meeting when in reality, he was just helping the family to distribute the relief hampers. He and the believers are in a helpless situation as the lockdown has now been extended further. He has requested the Church to pray for them.
Let’s pray that the Police would acknowledge the real truth behind the false allegations. Pray that the Pastor, the Christian family and the other believer would be given a clean chit in light of their relief work. Let us also pray that the people who are behind this evil scheme would come clean and withdraw the false complaint. Pray that they would have a change of heart.
How can the Church survive in the hostile environment of increasing persecution? The answer is not with us but with God. Jesus Christ promised us eternal life; and we shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck us out of His hand. John 10:28. In spite of overwhelming opposition, the Church of God will continue to exist. Till the very end of time there will always be people who fear and love the Lord. There is only One who is mighty to save us. That is the Lord Himself!
*Persecution Relief wishes to withhold personal information of victims of Christian Persecution keeping their best interest in mind. If you wish to acquire more information, please call us on our Toll-Free Number-1800-1234-461, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us on WhatsApp: 9993200020
From January 2016 to March 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 1961 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India. In the 1st Quarter of 2020, we recorded 187 cases.
Between 1st Quarter of 2016 to 1st Quarter of 2020, there has been a rise of 128.04 % of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 1st Quarter of 2016, we have recorded 82 cases, in 2017 – 134, 2018 – 117, 2019 – 130 and in 2020 we recorded 187 cases of Christian Persecution.
In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
In 2019 we have recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
Persecution Relief wishes to withhold personal information to protect the victims of Christian Persecution, hence names and places have been changed. Please know that the content and the presentation of views are the personal opinion of the persons involved and do not reflect those of Persecution Relief. Persecution Relief assumes no responsibility or liability for the same. All Media Articles posted on our website, are not edited by Persecution Relief and is reproduced as generated on the respective website. The views expressed are the Authors/Websites own. If you wish to acquire more information, please email us at: email@example.com or reach us on WhatsApp: +91 9993200020