Church Road blocked by religious fanatics to Pastor and congregation, Karnataka
Pastor Meshak Daila and his congregation were physically stopped from accessing his Church, at Honnavar, a port town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India.
The fundamentalists blocked the road and did not allow any one including the pastor to enter the place of worship. Only the 4 families who live in and around the vicinity of the Church, participated for the service, without the Pastor.
2 years ago, Pastor and the Church encountered a similar situation. A mob of religious fundamentalists had stormed the NLF Honnavar Church and forcefully stopped worship service. Pastor had approached the local Police Station to lodge a complaint. However, the fundamentalists lodged false counter charges against the Pastor with the Tehsildar.
For several months, they blocked the access road to the believers who wanted to make their way to the Church, threatening them and chasing them back to their homes.
In spite of this injustice and harassment, 4 local believers family continued to brave all odds and gather to worship at this place for Friday prayers and Sunday Worship Service. Slowly, the situation appeared to return to normal until as recent as last week.
In a repeat to the incident that happened 2 years ago, the fundamentalists blocked the road and did not allow any one including the pastor to the place of worship. Only the 4 families who live in and around the vicinity of the Church, participate for the service, without the pastor.
On Sunday,14th October, the Worship meeting did not happen. Around 60 believers who regularly attend, have been denied their right and freedom of belief and faith. In spite of alerting the Police of the situation, none of the perpetrators have been apprehended.
Honnavar in Karnataka, is a communally sensitive place. With the prevailing situation, the Church believers are in fear and confusion, not knowing what to do. Several house churches have been prevented from holding prayer gatherings, which is part of an ever-widening nationwide operation targeting unofficial “house churches” across India.
Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India. Every citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully.
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