Pastor harassed and prayer meeting forcibly stopped, Uttar Pradesh
A recent alarming surge of attacks against churches in Uttar Pradesh, has raised concerns that the Government is getting tougher on any Christian activity.
On 13th September 2019, Pastor Kishan Masih, from Evangel Bible Church, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, was invited to speak at a ‘Friday Fasting & Prayer’ meeting at Hapur village, Hapur district, in Western Uttar Pradesh.
At 10 am, 3 persons, including Pastor, had gathered at Bro. Monu Bhai’s residence and were awaiting the rest of the people to convene for prayer.
As short while later, a Police Jeep screeched to a halt in front of the house and half a dozen police men, alighted from the Jeep. With no visible sign of an offense or crime being reported or an offense being committed, it was extremely disconcerting to find this squad of Policemen walk into the Prayer Home. The Policemen demanded that the meeting be stopped with immediate effect.
Pastor Kishan politely stated that it was violation of their constitutional right to worship. They had been meeting at this home for the past 10 years. Police directed Pastor that they must secure permission for future meetings. Police alleged that prayer meetings were used as a cover for religious conversions. The Police further added that the Church and home would need to seek clearance from the Police, to conduct prayer meetings.
Pastor Kishan was alarmed and troubled by the inappropriate conduct of the Policemen, who were racially profiling and discriminating against Christians, who were gathering in a home for a prayer meeting.
Enraged by Pastor Kishan’s questioning, one of the Policemen, wanted to take Pastor into the custody to the Police station. However, the rest of the Christians, vehemently objected the decision, claiming that Pastor was their guest from Ghaziabad
Eventually, the Police forcibly stopped the meeting and summoned Pastor and other elders, to the Hapur Police Station, at 6:30 pm, for further interrogation, with respect to this incident. Pastor and the congregation members were fearful of the consequences and anxiety gripped their hearts.
Bro. Thomas of Persecution Relief, was led in his spirit to call Pastor Kishan and took time to pray with him. He prayed against the spirit of debilitating discouragement and fear of setbacks, and for an incredible miracle to stir Pastor Kishan’s confidence and faith in God, declaring release from all negativity and to keep moving forward in His will.
Empowered and encouraged, around 50 members of the congregation, reached the Police Station. The Police were shocked to see the large assembly of people and questioned why all of them had accompanied the Pastor.
“Why did you bring all the people? I only wanted to have a chat with you about the Church. Please continue with your prayers and worship service”.
With no further questions, they were allowed to return.
Pastor Kishan and the congregation, were praising God for going before them and God’s favour with the Police Officials.
Pastor also expressed deep gratitude to Persecution Relief for the guidance and prayer support extended.
Church pray that the physical assaults, Police harassment, intimidation and inaction, a common tactic used to victimize minorities by denying them their rights provided by the Constitution of India.
We are grateful to Pastor Sunil from AG Church, who informed Persecution Relief about Pastor Kishan Masih’s incident.
Persecution and attacks on Christians in India have risen over the last few years, as religious fanatics continue to act with impunity.
The hate-crimes include false accusation of forceful and fraudulent religious conversions, physical and verbal assault on Church pastors and members; false and divisive propaganda; damage and desecration of places of worship and arson; disruption of prayer services and restrictions on religious gatherings.
In 2018, Persecution Relief has recorded 477 incidents of hate-crimes against Christians. Uttar Pradesh recorded 129 incidents. – the most hostile state.
In the first six months of 2019, we have recorded 208 incidents of hate-crimes, with 39 incidents from Uttar Pradesh alone.
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