Deceased Christian denied burial, fanatics cremate body, Gujarat
Over the last week, a mob of religious fundamentalists, alleging foul play in the death of a Christian brother, have been protesting in large numbers, linking his death to alleged conversion and negligence of Pastor A. Selvam.
Originally from Tamil Nadu, Pastor Selvam heard the call of God and has been ministering in Navsari District of Gujarat, at Kripasanam Church of Grace. His resides around 15 kms away inGandevi City, in the same District.
This deceased Brother – a member of Pastor Mohan’s Church at Gandevi – had been unwell and as he was being taken to the Hospital, he passed away. The local Tribal Christian Body was making arrangements to bury him as per Christian rites and rituals. The religious fanatics falsely alleged that Pastor Selvam and other local pastors had been converting poor tribals in the area. They descended on the Church property, shouting slogans, threatening and intimidating Christian families, and have threated to close down all Churches – around 15 of them, in Gandevi area.
The fanatics strongly opposed and challenged the Christians and ultimately, the body was crematedunder duress and hostility.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, on Saturday, 02ndFebruary, Pastor called requesting for prayers, narrating that the fanatics had called for a ‘rally against Christians’ on Sunday, 03rd February and had warned against Christians gathering for worship service. However, Pastor and was determined not to give in to fear but trust God and go ahead with Sunday Service.
On 03rd February, Pastor Selvam called to express his gratitude to Persecution Relief for the prayer support received through ‘Breaking News’post, which created huge awareness, as hundreds had prayed for courage, protection and safety of Pastor Selvam and the congregation.
Praise God that permission to hold a ‘rally against Christians’, was denied by the Police.
Church, continue to pray for Pastor Selvam and the 15 Churches in Gandevi area. Pray for the peace of God, for solidarity and forgiveness to be displayed in their lives.
Many servants of God work in hostile situations like this across India and it is the responsibility of every Church to pray for these servants of God and for the believers that they may stand strong in their faith and that none should be lost.
Let us be united in one Spirit and stand with the Persecuted Church in India, in an hour like this!
In 2018, Persecution Relief recorded 477 incidents of violence against Christians – 4 incidents from Gujarat.
In January 2019, 45 incidents of persecution have been recorded across India.
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