Pastor harassed after conversion allegations, Uttar Pradesh
The incident of 23rd December, follows an episode thathappened 4 months ago.
Pastor Binay Kumar, minsters with Masihi Upasna Church, where around 60 believers gather at his residence. Suddenly, as Sunday worship service was in progress, around 8 unidentified religious fanatics trespassed into the Church. The began to shout slogans and false allegations against Pastor, accusing him of getting funds from overseas, which they claimed, he was using to allure and convert the local community to Christianity.
Pastor was forthright and candidly stated that he was notrecipient to any foreign funds.
“I cannot and will not force anybody to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. My role is to introduce them to Jesus Christ and His teachings. It is their choice to follow or not to follow”, he categorically told them.
The Officials left after threatening and warning Pastor with dire consequences if he did not stop the worship services.
After this unpleasant experience, Pastor Binay left the village and moved to Varanasi, around 30kms away. In his absence his brother and elders were running the Church.
After being away from home for the past 4 months, Pastor decided to return home, to meet his family, and spend this special time of year with the people most special to him. However, the desire to return and get together with the family, seemed to come at a cost.
On Sunday, 23rd December, he reached the village and joined the Sunday Worship service. Word about his arrival, quickly spread in the neighbourhood. Religious fanatics misled the local Administration Officials, fabricating a story that more than 10 people had been converted to Christianity!
The Tehsildar (the officer in charge of the collection of revenues), Phoolchand Yadav, Deputy Tehsildar Brijesh Kumar, and SHO Tej Bahadur Singh, In-charge of Baburi Police station, Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh, rushed to Sikari village in /Chandauli Uttar Pradesh, based on false and baseless complaints from villagers, and demanded that the worship service be stopped.
SHO Tej Bahadur Singh along with the Tehsildar, examined Pastor Binay Kumar’s residence and also the site of the “Church under construction”, near his house. They intruded even the upper portion of the house and examined the sheets that were spreads on the floor, along with a cross that was hanging on the wall. Not finding any evidence of proselytizing and conversion, the officials finally left the house.
It is alleged that this is a case of collusion between the local police, administration and the villagers.
Anti-Christian violence in Uttar Pradesh is not a new phenomenon and Christians have been facing unprovokedand relentless atrocities for the past few years. Allegations that Christians are carrying out evangelical activities and converting the locals, is the common rhetoric, used to exploit and attack innocent Christians.
According to data recorded with Persecution Relief, Uttar Pradesh experienced the highest number of violent attacks against Christians – over 100 incidents recorded in the last 11 months of 2018.
Church, pray for the opponents of the Gospel, that God would restrain their hands, not to cause evil and harm to His sheep
Pastor Finny Samuel who heads Masihi Upasna Church,called the Persecution Relief Toll Free Number – 1800-1234-461 to inform about this incident.
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