Christian school and Church Pastor harassed
Vandalized Car of Pastor Shivnath
The Christian community who own and manage educational institutions in the country continue to be under attack from religious right-wing fanatics. This is clearly against the Indian Constitution, which allows religious minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice, to help advancement of their community members.
Pastor Shivnath Joseph has been running a Primary School at village Birpur, Supaul District, Bihar. Established in 2002, the school has been imparting formal educationfor the past 17 years. Around 75 children are taught in this rented premises.
Every Sunday, Pastor Shivnath also conducts Sunday Worship service at “Good News Living Hope Ministry of India”, on the same property, and around 30 believers attend the meeting.
Recently, the Owners have asked Pastor Shivnath to vacate the property, although they have a valid Rental Agreement until 2022.
The Owner has categorically told Pastor that he does not want to lease the property to them because they are Christians and propagating the religion in the area. He also demanded that the Sunday Worship service be stopped.
Pastor is on the lookout for an alternate accommodation, to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the education of the children, during the Academic year. However, with the current antagonism and harassment against Christians, across most districts in Bihar, it has been very hard to find an alternate premise.
Believers in his congregation are disappointed and sad that they are unable to gather as a community and worship, while Pastor makes every endeavour to visit their homes, to encourage and pray with them.
Last week, unidentified vandals, damaged the School’s only Omni Maruti Van that is used to transport the children to the School and for the ministry. With multiple dents and holes made with sharp instruments on the roof of the vehicle, water drips thru the roof during rains.
Pastor does not want to make a Police Complaints as he believes that the Owners who are very influential in the area and well connected, could persuade the Police.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor Shivnath covets our prayers, to find an alternate peaceful place to run the school as well as an alternate place to worship.
The scale of “crack down” against the Christian minority community has been unprecedented, with tighter surveillance of Churches and House Churches.
Persecution Relief has recorded 477 incidents of hate crimes in 2018 of which 37 were recorded from Bihar alone.
In 2019, Bihar recorded 13 incidents of hate crimes in the past 6 months.
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