Holy Bibles burned by fanatics
Believers of Ebenezer Fellowship
Pastor Samuel Varghese, his family and members of his team from Ebenezer Fellowship, which included women and children, were surrounded by a mob of religious fanatics, who accused them of proselyting, while they visited a village in Rajasthan.
Every Sunday, Pastor Varghese and his team, chose a particular village, shared the gospel speaking to people about Christianity while distributing Bibles and Bible tracts.
On Sunday, 07th July, just after worship service, the team set out for their ministry, identifying village Benad, 20 kms from Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, to preach the gospel. The Team shared the gospel and distributed Bible’s to people who asked for it.
Suddenly, they were surrounded by a mob of religious fanatics, armed with lathis, who abused the Christians, accusing them of distributing Bibles, as an attempt to lure people into converting to Christianity by “fraudulent means”.
The fanatics forcibly grabbed cartons of Bibles and religious tracts and emptied them onto the road, setting them on fire. The armed fanatics were heard plotting to burn the vehicle that was used by the Christians. By the grace of God and the presence of mind of the Sisters, they managed to drive off their Eco Maruti van to a safe place.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor Samuel narrated the confrontation.
“By the grace of God, we all are safe. The Lord didn’t allow them to beat us”.
“The fanatics forcibly took us to Harmara Police Station where we were detained until 10:30 pm, with further intensive questioning”.
With the intervention of several Senior Christian Leaders Rev Vijayesh Lal (EFI) and local Pastors, the team were finally left off without any charges against them.
In the Constitution of India, Article 25. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion– which further affirms that “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion”.
Bible distribution is considered as proselytizing and continues to be met with opposition across India.
The scale of “crack down” against the Christian minority community has been unprecedented in the past 2 years.
In 2018, Persecution Relief has recorded 447 incidents of hate-crimes, with 11 cases reported from Rajasthan.
In the first six months of 2019, we have recorded 208 incidents of hate crimes against Christians, with 3 incidents from Rajasthan alone.
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