Pastor dragged to Police Station, detained for 24 hours, Madhya Pradesh
Persecution Relief recently spoke to Pastor Anar Jamre who is in charge of the Filadelphia Church. He briefed us about one of his colleague named Pastor Rahul Baria who recently faced persecution because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Pastor Rahul Baria lives in a village called Para in Jhabua, a district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Pastor Rahul’s sister was recently healed of a sickness hence she held a thanksgiving meeting to honour Jesus Christ at their native village Damai, which is roughly 8 kms away from where the Pastor and his family live and work.
On 2/12/19, at around 7pm, Pastor Rahul along with his wife, 3 children and sister Kanta arrived back home after the thanksgiving meeting, only to find a group of 60 odd religious enthusiasts waiting for him.
As he got down from the vehicle, the fanatics who were already hurling abuses at him, caught hold of him and started accusing him of religious conversions. Not at all concerned about the trauma they were putting his family through, they then dragged him to the Para Outpost where the police confined him.
Persecution Relief called the Jhabua Police station and spoke to the Station House Officer (SHO) Mr Ramesh Koli who confirmed that Pastor Rahul Baria was indeed, at the police station.
Back at the Pastor’s home, the landlord asked his family to vacate the house with immediate effect. The Pastor and his family had lived there for 7 years. They used one room to live in and the other room for the Church to use where more than 80 people assembled to pray and worship.
Only recently, due to financial constraints, he was unable to pay rent for a few months. The landlord said that he wanted the Pastor to leave because he hadn’t paid the rent. But when the Pastor offered to pay then and there, he told him that he could pay but he still would not permit the Pastor to continue holding Prayer meetings at his premises.
4 years ago, Pastor and his family put their faith in Jesus Christ after they witnessed a miraculous healing of a long term illness that his wife was healed from. Pastor Rahul has been running the church at his rented premises for the past two years.
After the incident, Persecution Relief spoke to the Station House Officer (SHO) Mr. Ramesh Koli again. After hearing the whole story and making relevant enquires, Pastor Rahul was released after being detained for more than 24 hrs, without any charges at 8pm on 3/12/19. They asked him to return shortly and give in writing that he will not conduct church meetings at his premises anymore.
As we experience the deteriorating condition of religious freedom in our country, let us be faithful in responding by going back to God’s word. The above story and many others posted by us are reminiscent of the experience shared by Paul and Silas. After being flogged and thrown into jail, they reacted by “praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” Acts 16:25-26.
Persecution Relief has recorded 330 incidents of hate crime against Christians in 2016, 440 incidents in 2017, 477 incidents in 2018 and till September 2019 we have recorded 349 incidents of Christian Persecution against Christians in India.
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