Application to secure permission to host a 2-day Christmas Mahotsav by ‘Masihi Shanti Samiti’ on the 19th and 20th of December at Pratapgarh, is a town in Rajasthan, India was submitted weeks ahead to the Police Department. The Station House Officer (SHO) who is responsible with managing permissions for events, received the application and gave a verbal go-ahead but was not willing to give them a written permit.
Organizers were grateful for the early permission as months of planning and organizing had gone into this 2-day event. However, as the meeting was scheduled to start, unidentified religious fundamentalists stormed the venue along with the Police and demanded that the entire program be scrapped. The SHO turned tables by saying that he had not given any permission and the meeting should be stopped because the agenda was only to convert people. In spite of urging him to think through the possible consequences of many thousands of people arriving in the city for a much-anticipated event, the SHO was unmoving. Both days of the meeting have been cancelled.
In the stand-off that ensued, with the Police and fundamentalists on one side and the event organizers on the other side, the situation got tense with the Police physically pushing out the believers and also slapping one of the worship leaders Bro. Ayub Mawti who had travelled all the way from Udaipur to attending this function.
Masihi Shanti Samiti President Pastor Karu Lal and Secretary Pastor Laxman Lal Meena, speaking to the VoTC Correspondent, expressed frustration, at the betrayal by the Government and Local Administration. The organizers had sent invitations to many thousands of Christians in the city and surrounding churches, and Christians were preparing to come with friends and neighbors to the event. Arrangements for several buses to ferry passengers from different cities, hostel bookings, cost for the installation of sound and lighting systems etc., electricity and water, sanitary facilities, chairs, stage, installation of sound and lighting systems etc. had to be cancelled incurring huge loss. That the government will go to such lengths to hinder a Christmas gathering is indeed sad.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Rom 8: 28
God is able to work every situation together for good. He sees the big picture; He has a master plan. Our decision is to align our will with God’s and to always trust in Him.
Church please pray for all Christians in Rajasthan, especially this Program organizers, so that they may not be discouraged but trust God even through this trying situation.
Pray also for our Political Leaders and Police for divine wisdom to execute their duties faithfully.
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