FANATICS ISSUE DEATH THREATS TO PASTOR, UTTARAKHAND.
“Please pray for me, the religious extremist group has been searching high and low to me to kill me.” This was the SOS-like voice message that Persecution Relief received on WhatsApp from a pastor in Uttarakhand, an Indian state.
Persecution Relief spoke to *Pr. Prem, just a day before we received this message from him on the 9th of September 2020. He told us that a religious extremist group of around 15 men, had attacked another pastor named *Jeet. “They told *Pr. Jeet that they will put a bomb in his house and finish him” he added.
“Pr. Jeet told me that they were looking out for Christian ministers in that area. They also showed him a picture of me and asked for my address, but he did not give them any information about me” said Pr. Prem who has been serving the Christian community in that village for almost 5 years now.
Pr. Jeet told Pr. Prem not to move out of his home, and that he and his family should stay put. “I am being informed that the fanatics are roaming around and asking people if they recognize me. They are openly telling the community that they will kill me as soon as they find me” said Pr. Prem.
Pr. Prem explained to Persecution Relief that the Christians are fearful as there are several house Churches in that area and the Christians meet together in small groups. Pr. Jeet has informed the police about the incident. However, Pr. Prem and his family are undercover and are living in fear.
At Present, Persecution Relief is doing its best to ensure that the Pastors and their families are safe. Concerning religious intolerance, the situation in India is going from bad to worse. Religious-nationalist and extremist groups are moving around fearlessly and terrorizing the Christian community.
One has to think twice before going to the police as most authorities seem to be hand in glove with such groups. It’s like going from the frying pan into the fire! What does one do in a situation like this, especially with entire families at stake?
Pray for the Pastor and his family to rest in God’s protection as the name of the Lord is a strong fortress which the righteous run into for safety.
Pray against fear and anxiousness, for the Pastors and the Christians in that area. Their faith and trust are in God, and they shall not be moved, because He is mighty to save.
Pray for the fanatics who are moving under the influence of evil to steal, kill, and destroy. However, we trust in a God who gives life in abundance. May they soon be faced with this timeless truth of Christianity.
In the 1st Half of 2020, Persecution Relief recorded 293 cases of Christian Persecution. In 2019 alone, we recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017, and 330 in 2016. From January 2016 to June 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 2067 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, ‘Countries of Particular Concern’(CPC) In its 2020 report. The US State Department 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.
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