Police ban Church meetings.Uttar Pradesh
Pr Abhimanyu with Pr Harikhel
A while back, Persecution Relief had assisted Pastor Abhimanyu when he was stopped by the Police from conducting prayer meetings. With our support and the fervent prayers of the saints, permission was ultimately granted to him by Police Officials to restart the prayer and worship meetings.
A short while ago, Pastor Abhimanyu was informed about the persecution that his friend, Pastor Harikhel Yadav was facing. Local religious fanatics had created trouble and convinced the local authorities to stop the Church from conducting worship services. He immediately made his way to Pastor Harikhel’s home to encourage and pray with him. Recalling his similar ordeal, he then called the Founder of Persecution Relief, requesting our assistance in this matter.
For the past 8 years, Harikhel Yadav has been leading the Khushi Jeevan Jyothi Church in a village at Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. An average of over 500 Christians regularly gather to pray and worship every Sunday. Lately, Hindu fundamentalists along with a visible backing of the police, have been harassing the church and preventing it from congregating.
On the 11/03/2020, the Church had organized a prayer meeting. Sadly, the police refused to permit the meeting. The Police and the local villagers have been lead and instigated by two religious goons named Devi & Anand.
For years, the Church has been functioning smoothly without any problems from their neighbourhood. This systematic attack on the Church is a recent development. Whenever the Christians approach the police for help, the fanatics boldly profess that they cannot be restrained or intervened. Moreover, the police don’t seem to be taking any complaints seriously. In spite of the Church having an order from the court, permitting them to conduct meetings, the police still turn a blind eye to it.
Church let’s trust God for a miracle and pray that the Khushi Jeevan Jyothi Church would soon be able to gather together in peace. Pray that they continue to stand strong in the Lord. Let us also commit the persecutors in his hands, and pray that they may soon experience the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 18:3 says, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. Our trust in God should be unwavering. We can confidently rely on him to save and protect us. Having that eternal and profound knowledge of his character is crucial to every Christian. Only then will we be able to wholeheartedly surrender our selves to him. He is truly worthy of praise.
Between January 2016 to December 2019, there has been a rise of 59.6% of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
What stands out amongst the Hate Crimes in India is that 4 Christians were murdered in 2019. We recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has showed a shocking 179.4% leap in cases of Christian Persecution between 2016 to 2019! From 39 cases being reported in 2016, the number has sky rocketed to 109 cases in 2019 alone bringing the total count from across the country to 527 cases. Uttar Pradesh has proved to be the most hostile state in the country against Christians for the past 3 consecutive years. Tamil Nadu continues to rank as the second most hostile state in the country with 75 cases, followed by Karnataka with 32 cases, bringing the state of Maharashtra to number 4 with 31 cases and Bihar with 30 cases stands at number 5.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
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