Pastor brutally beaten and dragged to Police station, Odisha
Evangelist Dickson Ranjan Hanuman has been faithfully ministering at Naxapali, a small village/hamlet in Maneswar Tehsil in Sambalpur District of Odisha State. His ministry is affiliated with “Jesus Mission”.
On Sunday, 04th August, Worship Service had started around 10.00 am. Around 11 am, a mob of more than 50 religious fanatics, chanting slogans of ‘jai sri ram’, illegally trespassed into the “Jesus Mission “Church, disrupting the Worship Service.
They called out to Evg. Dickson and as soon as he stepped out, the multiple people descended on him, raining blows, punches and kicks, all over his body.
As the Evangelist fell to the ground, the fanatics demanded that the worship service be stopped. The Evangelist assured them that they would not meet from the following week but begged that the worship service continue since they were celebrating ‘Holy Communion”. (According to the bible, Christians, partake of Holy Communion in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus that was broken and poured at the cross).
However, the ruthless mob, were unrelenting. They continued with the brutal assault causing grievious injuriesto the Evangelist.
They produced a “formatted letter”, falsely stating that the Evangelist was involved in conversion activities and was caught ‘red handed’, doing it. They coerced him to sign the letter, and so under duress, they secured the letter as evidence.
The Fanatics then called in the Police, who took the Evangelist, like a common criminal, to Dhanupali Police Station. The fanatics, followed him to the Station as they were in collusion with the authorities and had made all provisions to file a false FIR against him.
Persecution Relief was alerted about this incident around 4.00 pm, and we reached out to Addl. Superintendent of Police, Mahapatra. Once he heard the whole story, he was very sympathetic and assured that he would do his best to secure his release.
The Evangelist was detained at the Station until 8.00 pm.As soon as he reached his home, he was informed by his Landlord, to vacate his rental quarters. Apparently, the fanatics and the local villagers in the neighbourhood, had paid a visit to the Landlord, and threatened him to evict the Evangelist and his family or face dire consequences.
Persecution Relief would like to thank Pr Nihar and team who visited Evg Dickson at the Police station.
Evicted from his home, discriminated and denied the right to practice the religion of his choice, which is a violation against the Constitution of India, the Evangelist is looking for an alternate accommodation in the area.
Church, please remember Evangelist Dickson, his family and the congregation, in your prayers; for God’s favour upon his life and for him to remain steadfast in his faith.
The scale of “crack down” against the Christian minority community has been unprecedented, with tighter surveillance of Churches and House Churches.
In 2019, Odisha recorded 4 incidents of hate crimes in the past 6 months.
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