Sunday worship service disrupted, Pastor and congregation beaten, Daman
Daman and Diu, is a union territory (UT) of India. Daman is one of the two districts that make up the union territory, Daman and Diu. Though they together make up the UT, Diu lies 635 km apart, up the Gujarat coast line.
This is a registered society where believers gather every Sunday, Wednesday & Saturday, to worship at Duneta Road near Coast Highway, Daman.
On Sunday 18th August 2019, worship service commenced at 10.00 am. Suddenly, a mob of around 30 persons, armed with lathis, gate-crashed into the premises, sloganeering and shouting abuses. They demanded that the worship service be stopped immediately. As Pastor and the congregation began reasoning with them, the belligerent & boisterous crowd began to beat every one assembled. indiscriminately. The young men were brutally beaten while the women were verbally abused with threats and vulgar words.
The brazen and daring mob, further vandalized the place, destroying Speaker Boxes, electrical light fittings, costly electrical equipment, PA System, furniture etc. They threw down the Holy Bibles and Hymn Books that were there, and trampled over them with impunity.
Finally, after the persecutors left the stunned bleeding congregation, the fearful congregation disbursed around 12.30 pm.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor recounted a similar encounter they had faced in October 2018, while they were worshipping at a rented premise. The fanatics had threatened Pastor warned the land-lord, following which, they were denied access to the flat for future meetings. The congregation had to move to a Hotel and hire the Conference Room for several months, until they built their own place of worship.
Pastor N.M. Rao and local Church Leaders, had lodged a complaint with Nani Daman Police Station in Daman.
Church, pray for Pastor and the congregation, that their faith may not fail them; that their lives will be a living testimony in this testing time and for their protection.
In 2018, Persecution Relief has recorded 447 incidents of hate-crimes. 1 incident was reported from the Union Territory of Daman & Diu.
In the first six months of 2019, we have recorded 180 incidents of hate crimes against Christians. This is the1st incident from Daman & Diu.
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