Mob Physically Assaults & Forces Christians To Worship Idol, Uttar Pradesh.
Pastor Vikash Kumar Gupta
A mob of over 100 religious fanatics attacked a House Church at 3pm on the 4th of July 2020 in a village at Dasmada in Azamgarh, a district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The mob broke into the house that belongs to Senior Pastor Sunita Mourya and beat up the church members that were present there, vandalizing the entire home.
21-year-old Pastor Vikash Kumar Gupta who managed to hide away while the mob attacked, managed to get a video of the incident and immediately sent it to the police and other contacts, requesting help. “The Police promptly arrived and took us to the Baradaha Police station and registered a case. After a medical examination was conducted, we were allowed to go” said Pastor Vikash.
Speaking to Persecution Relief from an undisclosed and safe place, Pastor Vikas said that God had protected and saved him as he had overheard the mob saying, “Vikash is the main guy and we must kill him”
Pastor Vikash who assists Senior Pastor Sunita in the ministrytold Persecution Relief, “She leads and serves around 30 Christians in that village. Before the Covid-19 crisis, the believers regularly met at Pastor’s Sunita’s home, but on the 2nd of July a few believers who were praying together were taken by shock when some fanatics from a nearby village started threatening and abusing them.”
Pastor Vikash told Persecution Relief that the fanatics questioned him about Pastor Sunita, who was not present at that time as she was at a wedding ceremony and would return only later that day. “As soon as the fanatics left, I called Pastor Sunita to inform her about what had happened. She was upset, but consoled and encouraged us to forgive them and surrender the situation into God’s hands.”
Persecution Relief also spoke to Pastor Sunita who said that the fanatics returned the next day on the 3rd of July 2020. She said that the raging religious goons entered her home and beat her and the other believers who were praying with her. “I was not present for prayer that morning as I had other work, but when I returned, I was shocked to see the state of my fellow believers” said Pastor Vikash.
“That very afternoon the goons returned and dragged us out of the house. They took me, Akhilesh Verma, Rajesh, Vikash and 2 other sisters and forced us to get on a bus that was headingto their village” said Pastor Sunita. She further added that while on the bus, they harassed, threatened and insulted them using filthy language and profanity.
“Once we reached their village, the fanatics took us to their temple and started forcing us to bow down to the idols and worship their gods, but we refused to give into their demands” said Pastor Sunita. Seeing that they were adamant, the fanatics let the believers off with a warning saying that they would kill anyone who was seen any where in or near their village.
In conversation with Persecution Relief, a very agonised Pastor Sunita said, “I have faced many struggles ever since I started this ministry at my village. Even my husband left me and our 3 children to fend for ourselves, but I will still trust in God”
Pastor Sunita fled with her three children as the attacks grew increasingly dangerous and her home is completely vandalized by the religious fanatics. She is presently hiding at a safe location.
Please do keep Pastor Sunita and the Church in prayer. Pray that they would experience God’s protection, provision and comfort during this time. Pray for all those who were physically assaulted, many of whom were women, that they would be healed both spiritually, physically and mentally in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. As God is the one who longs to turn the hearts of evil men to Himself, let us pray and trust Him to turn the hearts of the persecutors to Himself.
There are many cases like this which are not reported due to many reasons like fear, lack of support and connectivity or just helplessness. India is a country of 1.3 billion people, most of whom live in villages and are considered the ‘weaker’ class. Their voices are muffled by their vulnerability. God has raised Persecution Relief up to be their voice and their support.
We are presently supporting Pastor Sunita both in prayer and in deed, providing her with monetary relief to help her through this Challenging time.
However, the Persecution Relief family is trusting in God to breathe to life ‘PARAN’-the first refuge centre for the Persecuted Church in India, as soon as possible.
‘PARAN’ was envisioned, bearing in mind the plight of the persecuted Christians in India and will be a life-line and a place of refuge for those facing excommunication, subjugation, discrimination, financial constraints and are legally marginalized with little to no support.
Post the initial support, our brethren struggle to be integrated back into society. We as Persecution Relief want to enlarge our borders and provide a safe and permanent place for these desperate ones. We have earmarked a piece of land and would like to consolidate this mission at one location itself, wherein, the persecuted church could thrive in the presence of God and in the fullness of the spirit.
It is our desire for ‘PARAN’ our 1St Refuge Centre to be finalized as soon as possible. For more information about ‘PARAN’, do contact us on WhatsApp + 91 9993200020.
‘He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety’ Job 5:11. Job had more than enough reason to grieve. He lost everything- health, wealth and family. But through his loss, Job continued to worship God. Fixing our gaze on God even through hard and disturbing times, shows Him that we trust Him beyond our pain. As mentioned above, He will lift us up to safety.
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.
Persecution Relief wishes to withhold personal information to protect the victims of Christian Persecution, hence names and places have been changed. Please know that the content and the presentation of views are the personal opinion of the persons involved and do not reflect those of Persecution Relief. Persecution Relief assumes no responsibility or liability for the same. All Media Articles posted on our website, are not edited by Persecution Relief and is reproduced as generated on the respective website. The views expressed are the Authors/Websites own. If you wish to acquire more information, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us on WhatsApp: +91 9993200020