Dear Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji,
Persecution Relief, representing the persecuted Christian Community in India, would like to express our grave concern on the increasing intolerance and violence against the Christian communities.
A Pastor in Tamil Nadu was found murdered in the early hours of Saturday, 20th January 2018. It is alleged that Pastor Gideon Periyaswamy was brutally beaten and tortured by religious fundamentalists before being murdered. His body was found hanging in the Church at Kovathur, on ECR Road, near Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu, situated on the Coromandel Coast, 70 kilometers South of Chennai.
Pastor had been receiving frequent death threats. Earlier, religious fundamentalists had vandalized the roof of the Church. Another time, they had cut the water supply that was provided from the Village Panchayat, removed the bore well, beat and threatened him on many occasions, accusing him of converting people to Christianity.
In another case, in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, a Sis. Seema Devi, who is a Christian died due to sickness. Her husband was not allowed to bury her body. Instead, religious fanatics burned her body in front of the Church and later burned the Church building as well.
WHY ARE CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED IN INDIA???
Hon. Prime Minister, these are by no means isolated incidents. In recent times, there has been an unprecedented crackdown on Christians across the spectrum and these episodes have further aggrieved the community. India is a pluralistic society with a long-standing commitment to inclusion and tolerance. We place our faith in you to help foster a stable and inclusive country, respect religious minorities, including their religious freedom.
Persecution Relief is engaged in providing support to the persecuted Church and have recorded nearly 1200 persecution incidents over the last 2 years. The Christian community strongly condemns the outbreak of violence, discrimination, and rampant attacks on Churches, Christian Institutions and against the Christian citizens of this land.
I have spoken to Hon. Minister Mr. Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Culture and Tourism. He has extended his fullest support to the persecuted Church in India. Hon. Minister has helped us in the past and we are assured of his continuing support in the future. A copy of this petition will be handed over to him as well.
Mr. Modi, as you have committed that “that the religion of the government was “India first” and the Constitution its “holy book”, we respectfully seek urgent and immediate redressal of this provocative climate of communal discord in this land. We are seeking an appointment immediately, to discuss this grave situation. Our voices must be heard.
Sincerely, in Christ,
22 January 2018
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