Villagers harassed from gathering for prayers, Maharashtra
A group of Christian villagers have been harassed over the past many months and are unable to gather to worship or pray.
Rev. Eldoe Issac and a few others, run an independent Church in Thane District, in Maharashtra. Around 13 families at Malkaripada Village in Vikramgad Taluka, Thane District, who attend this Church, are being harassed by locals and religious fanatics for past few months.
Believers were forcibly being stopped from gathering on Sunday for prayer meetings, which was being held at Bro. Raghu’s house, and finally completely closed down. The believers then shifted to Bro. Praveen’s house but encountered the same problem there.
The persecutors allegedly lodged a false complaint against the Christians, at Vikramgarh Police Station, alleging religious conversion, who were then summoned to the Police Station.
Rev. Eldoe called Persecution Relief our Toll Free No 1800-1234-461, seeking help. He elaborated that they had been shifting from one village to another – initially village Malkaripada and then to village Jhamba, around 5 km’s away, yet faced a lot of opposition from persecutors.
Resources were invested in making temporary sheds and boundaries around the land, but people were prevented from using the shed and the boundaries were demolished. The local village head refused to intervene or help until they stopped worshipping Jesus Christ.
Persecution Relief team called the Superintendent of Police (SP) Mr. Gaurav Singh, Palghar District, who immediately asked that the villagers meet with him.
The meeting with the SP was very encouraging as he assured the Christians of his support, to ensure that they continue to worship without any problems. He further called the local Police Station and instructed them not to bother the Christians.
Persecution Relief has recorded 477 incidents of Christian persecution in 2018. Maharashtra ranked number 10 among the top hostile states of India, has seen a sudden spike in the number of incidents in January 2019.
Church, please pray for Rev. Eldoe and the congregation, for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation as they gather in the days ahead.
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