Village Head and Locals conspire against Church, Jharkhand.
The district of Garhwa is part of the state of Jharkhand, India. Pastor Vikas Mehra runs a ministry in a village located in Garhwa and also leads a Church called ‘The Zion Church’. Pastor accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour back in 2002. Since then he has been faithfully serving the Lord, leading many to Jesus Christ. As the number of believers began to grow, they started gathering together to pray and worship by paying rent at various venues.
For the past 4 months, the Church has been worshiping at a rented place that belongs to a person named Mr Talo, who is not a Christian.
2 weeks ago, when the Church came together for the Sundayworship service, Mr Talo stopped them and said that he couldn’t rent out the place to them any more.
Pastor Vikas Mehra then got to know that the villagers had conspired together and approached the village head, Indu Devi and complained against the Believers.
The village head, Indu Devi, who was convinced by the villagers, instructed the house owner, Mr.Talo to immediately stop the Church from meeting at his house and refuse to give it to them on rent.
While speaking to Persecution Relief, A very disappointedPastor Vikas shared about the current challenges he and the Church are facing. Apart from having no place to worship, even the believers are leaving the Church. “Last Sunday, we had no option so we worshipped at a believers house which is very small. Only 10 people came because of fear of social boycott.”Said the Pastor. He has requested us to pray for the Church. As we commit to pray for him, let us not forget to pray for the village head, Indu Devi, the Villagers and Mr. Talo. That they would have a life changing encounter with a living God.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” Psalm 18:6. The God we serve is a God who answers prayers. He knows our needs before we even ask Him for help. Let us pray for our community and our nation so that the will of God be established.
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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