Pastor and Team threatened with arrest for sharing Gospel, Uttar Pradesh
Video of the incident
Uttar Pradesh continues to be in the limelight as the most hostile State that persecutes and harasses Christians since the last many years. Every single day, the situation keeps getting worse, while the escalating complaintsreceive scant attention of either the Chief Minister or the Administration
On Friday, 26th April, 2019, Pastor Manoj, accompanied by 4 other Church Members, travelled in a Jeep (Force Tempo Traveler) to village Karkosh, on an Outreach Mission.
While conducting the meeting there, they spoke to a group of children, narrating stories with morals. Soon, parents joined the curious children, engrossed in the stories.
As school had dispersed in the neighbourhood, school children also joined them as they shared captivating stories with good meaning and morals, on how to be obedient and respectful to parents, and look after them etc.
Suddenly, Policemen in 3 Jeeps landed at the spot and confronted the pastor and his team.
“What are you doing here?”
“Why are you telling them all these stories? To convert them”?
One of the Policemen, even addressed the Parents reprimanding her for allowing her children to listen to the stories.
“They will convert and take away your children from you”, he meanly added.
In order to further harass the Christians, the Policemen took away the Bible tracts, demanded identification proof, confiscated the original ID Cards, Driving License and the Vehicle Registration Book etc. from Pastor Manoj. Further, the Police asked them to report to Moth Police Station.
In spite of explaining to the Police that their intentions were honourable, the Police were adamant that they should report to the Police Station.
Sensing danger and further escalation of this innocent incident, these men prayed to God for wisdom and decided to call Persecution Relief. As they narrated the entire episode. the Team reached out to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dr. Om Prakash Singh. As he was engaged, he directed them to speak with the Additional Superintendent of Police, Mr. Rahul.
The Police Officer Rahul was very polite and patiently listened to their grievance and asked that Pastor Manoj and his team members meet with him. Pastor drove 40 kms from Jhansi, and met with the Police Officer.
Given an opportunity to explain their side of the story, they were finally exonerated and released without any charges. Moth Police Station was instructed to handover the ID and Vehicle Registration papers back to them, as they had not committed any crime.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor Manoj expressed disappointment, that “even when you try to do good, imparting morals and values, you still get a bad reputation. But when we “consider Jesus and fix our eyes upon Him”, who endured untold hostility, but endured and never grewweary, we are encouraged.”
He expressed gratitude to the Senior Police Officials who were supportive and fair.
Church, please pray for Pastor Manoj and his team, that God would be their supernatural protector, and that He would grant them courage and wisdom, as they continue to find favour with God and open doors to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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, last year, the most hostile among 29 states. In the first quarter of 2019, Uttar Pradesh is leading with 27 incidents of persecution recorded by us. 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.
Church, continue to fast and pray for Uttar Pradesh and for India.
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