Religious fanatics confront Christians, drag them to Police Station for distributing Holy Bibles, Tamil Nadu
“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17
Pentecost is from the Greek word ‘Pentekostos’, which means ‘fifty’. It’s the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover week and in Judaism is called the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:16).
Pentecost (though little known and celebrated) it is one of the great festivals of the Church and for Christians it’s profoundly significant. It marks the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and their transformation from frightened and confused people to men who would face martyrdom for what they believed.
It marks the beginning of Christianity as a purposeful movement and a new community. When Peter preached immediately afterwards, around 3,000 people believed and were baptized.
In commemoration of this day, an event was planned Pastor Christopher David Edwin, Gen. Secy. All India Christian welfare Union, where a Group of about 60 Pastors and teams of 700 odd Christians were accosted by religious fanatics while distributing New Testament Bibles in an around Udumalpet Panchayat, Tiruppur district, Tamil Nadu.
Permission had been secured from the relevant authorities, to distribute Bibles in Udumalpet, and organised Bible Distribution.
700 persons, in teams of 10 were sent to cover the length and breadth of Udumalpet. Vans were hired for this purpose and each team were dropped off in specific location points to cover the distribution. 90% of the Bibles were distributed by the team.
Mid way, while coordinating the distribution from the Church Campus, Police summoned Pastor Christopher to the Police Station, alerting him that 4 of his teams had been accosted by religious fanatics and were brought to the Udumalpet Town Police Station. Police asked pastor to ask the rest of the teams to suspend distribution activity and come over to the Police station.
When Pastor reached the police Station, he was confronted by a large mob of militant religious fanatics, led by Veerappan, Hindu Munnani Tiruppur Dist Secy. The huge mob were baying for the Christians blood and demanding that the Police arrest the men caught distributing Bibles.
While Police Inspector Om Prakash tried to negotiate between Pastor and the religious fanatics, the fanatics were violent and belligerent, shouting at the top of their voices, issuing threats in the presence of the police.
They also accused the Christians of taking up missionary work as a cover, healing the villagers and attracting them towards Christianity. They urged the authorities to take action against the Christians.
Finding the situation seemingly getting out of control, Police Inspector moved Pastor Christopher and his team, to an inside room in the Police Station, in order to protect him. Superintendent of Police arrived and brought the situation under control.
The Indian Constitution guarantees religious freedom, but several states have outlawed forced conversions from one faith to another.
Pastor was detained at the Police Station from 12:30 to 5.30 pm. He was asked to give a letter of undertaking, stating that he would not be involved in Bible distribution ministries in the future
One of the vehicles that was seized by the fanatics, is still being held at the Police station.
Pastor was grateful to Adv. Sandy Williams from Coimbatore who was helping the Christians with all the relevant legalities.
Anti-Christian violence continues to sweep through the southern state of Tamil Nadu and a spike in persecution attacks.
Persecution Relief has recorded 67 incidents of religious persecution against Christians in Tamil Nadu in 2018 – the 2nd hostile state following Uttar Pradesh.
In 2019, Tamil Nadu recorded 26 incidents of hate-crimes against Christians in just the past 4 months.
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