A recent alarming surge of Police crackdown against churches in Uttar Pradesh, has raised concerns that the Government is getting tougher on any Christian activity.
Among those arrested on Sunday, 06th January, were Pastor Sonu, Bro. Shri Bhagwan and 2 other members of the Church, in village Shekhanpur, Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.
Sunday worship service started as usual at 10 am in the morning and around 200 people had congregated for the service. At around 1.45 pm, as Pastor was sharing the Word of God, a dozen religious fanatics, with impunity and total disregard to the sanctity of the place of worship, stormed inside the Church.
They declared the church an illegal gathering and demanded that the worship service be stopped, alleging that the Pastor and the Church were converting people. While Pastor explained that all they were doing was sharing the Word of God, they were unconvinced.
They forced Pastor and the elders 3 of the Church to step outside, to question them further. Local Police from Kasimabad Police station, Ghazipur, had been summoned as they packed the Christians into the waiting vehicle, to the Police Station.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Bro. Shri Bhagwan, was ateacher in a private school, when he was called by God to start this fellowship.
“More than 200 people come for the meeting. The fanaticsforced us to come out and instigated the Police Officials to arrest us, alleging that we were converting people to Christianity”.
“Pastor Sonu and I, along with 2 brothers, were detained at the Police Station until late evening. We were booked under IPC 107,116, 151. Later, we applied for bail and were released”.
IPC 107: Abetment of a thing
IPC 116: Abetment of offence punishable with imprisonment — if offence be not committed
IPC 151: Knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse
In Uttar Pradesh, the scale of “crack down” against the Christian minority community has been unprecedented, with tighter surveillance of churches and on those who continue to worship a western God, Jesus Christ. In many places, Police patrols are placed outside Churches, guarding the entry, to prevent people from gathering to worship Jesus Christ.
Persecution Relief has recorded more than 129 persecution incidents in Uttar Pradesh, this year, the most hostile among 29 states. Across the country in India, the doors of a multitude of Churches have been sealed and scores arrested on false charges of indulging in conversion activities.
Despite this, the Christian population has grown steadily in recent years. Praise God.
Church, continue to fast and pray for Uttar Pradesh and for India.
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