Police questioning of Law-abiding Pastor, Uttar Pradesh
Congregation of Pr Manoj Kumar
A local Pastor, had a disturbing encounter with the Police, when a Police Jeep swooped down at his residence at about 8 pm.
Pastor Manoj Kumar from Varsendi village in Ayodhya District, has been ministering since 2008, and is affiliated with Karuna AG Church.
On Thursday, 12th September 2019, around 8 pm, when the family were getting ready to have supper, Pastor heard a knock at the front door. Expecting guests, Pastor was stunned and amazed, to find a Police Officer and his Driver in a Jeep parked outside his house.
As a law-abiding citizen, without any visible sign of an offense, or crime being reported, or an offense being committed, it was extremely disconcerting to find the Police Officer at his door step.
The Police Officer from Raunahi Police Station began to question Pastor and enquire into the details of a regular Church day.
“How long have you been running this ministry? “
“Are you converting people?”
“How many people attend the worship service?”
Pastor tried his best to calmly answer his questions. The Officer then proceeded to ask the names of the Christians who attended the worship service and demanded that he be provided with a list of names along with their phone numbers.
He was summoned to the Police Station today, Friday, 14th September, to bring the names of the congregation.
Persecution Relief prayed and encouraged Pastor, that God would open a way. This evening, when Pastor visited the Police Station, Pastor testified that the Police were polite & respectable to him. When he handed over the list to the Police Officer, he said, “I don’t need it, I just wanted to know”.
Pastor Manoj was praising God for the favour upon his life, that had gone before them and was grateful toPersecution Relief for all the support extended.
This incident, among others, exacerbates the discrimination and hostility being experienced by religious minorities in India.
Apart from the Church attacks and the physical assaults, Police harassment, intimidation and inaction is a common tactic used to victimize minorities by denying them their rights provided by the Constitution of India – which protects the freedom of conscience and the right to practice, profess and propagate the religion of one’s choice, to every citizen of India.
Christians conduct their worship services in fear and trembling, not knowing when they will be attacked by religious fanatics.
There have been several instances that when Senior Police Officials are approached and the ground reality explained to them, they have supported in securing the release of Christians.
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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