Visually challenged Sisters beaten, Andhra Pradesh
(L to R) Bro. Shivam, Sìs. Srinivasa Devi, Sìs. Durga & Wife of Bro. Shivam
Living in a small single-room house in Agraharam village, (1–Town Police Station limits) Eluru mandal, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, are 4 siblings living with their widowed mother, 3 sisters – Sis. Easwaramma, Sis. Srinivasa Devi, Sis. Durga (the latter 2 who are visually challenged) and 1 Brother Shivam and his visually challenged wife.
Sis. Easwaramma and the family are committed and ardent followers of Jesus Christ, who worship and pray in their home, because of the sister’s limitations.
Every Sunday, for the past 5 years, around 10 families used to gather at their home, for worship service would read the Bible and sing hymns rejoicing in the faith they had been given.
All this ended on Sunday 03rd March, as the sisters and family members were getting the home ready for worship service. 2 unidentified men, drove up to the house in a motor bike. They demanded to know the contact details of the Pastor who conducted the worship service. They claimed that they planned to conduct similar meetings in their home.
The household quickly sensed that something was amiss and noticing the “shiv shakti” sticker on the motor bike, refused to share the details of Pastor Nathaniel.
The enraged men verbally assaulted the family, threatening them with dire consequences, if they continued to worship Jesus Christ in the future. They also highlighted the fact that they live in a neighbourhood with upper caste brahmins and must stop worship or move out from the locality.
Bro. Shivam, tried to explain to the fanatic that nobody has the right to persecute somebody because of his or her faith, especially in one’s own home.
“How can you stop us from worshiping in our house? My sisters are blind and cannot go anywhere for meetings. We have been worshiping in our home for the past 5 years!?”
Threatening him and the sisters with dire consequences for challenging them, the belligerent men left, only to return in a short while, with an Advocate, living in the area. The Advocate had been abusing and threatening Sis. Easwaramma’s family for the past 3 months, asking them to vacate the locality or stop worshiping Jesus Christ.
With the arrival of the Advocate, the dispute became become even more volatile. In the heated exchange, the hand of a blind sister, accidentally touched the Advocate which was like “the straw that broke the camel’s back“. This minor act caused an unpredictable and violent reaction in the Advocate.
The Advocate physically attacked the blind Sisters Srinivasa Devi and Durga and beat the rest of the women assembled there. Bro. Shivam rushed to the rescue of his sisters. Eventually, he along with his Sis. Eswaramma lodged a complaint with the 1 Town Police station.
Pastor Naveen, who lives in Karim Nagar, visited the residence of Sis. Easwaramma along with local Christian leaders, who were trying to help file a police complaint.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, the fear and pain in Sis. Easwaramma voice, as she narrated the whole incident, is unmistakable.
“These anti-Christians are using false accusations to incite hatred in the community”, she added.
The Blind Sisters and the family are terrified of what the situation will be in the future as the fanatics have threatened them to leave the locality immediately. They have also warned that no further meetings will be permitted to be held at the home, because of a high-caste brahmin who lives close by.
Church, pray for our brothers and sisters who risk their lives to worship Jesus Christ. Pray that God would supernaturally work through these discouraging circumstances.
The situation for Christians in India is worsening day by day. Police and the Administration are most times in collusion with the religious fanatics, who implicitly support them, acting as intelligence gatherers and report on Christians.
As the Elections approach, Politicians are openly campaigning the rights of the majority over minority communities – Christians and Muslims continue to be treated as the pariahs.
In India, the scale of “crack down” against the Christian minority community has been unprecedented, with tighter surveillance of churches and on those who continue to worship a western God, Jesus Christ.
Persecution Relief has recorded more than 477 incidents of persecution in 2018. Andhra Pradesh recorded 16 incidents of hate crime in 2018.
In 2019, in both January and February respectively, 45 incidents of hate crimes were committed against Christians.
Church, pray that God will work through these sinister and terrifying efforts of religious fanatics, and bring peace and justice to His people.
Pray that God will frustrate and destroy the plans of those who intend evil and destruction of God’s people, and that they may witness the power and glory of HIS righteousness.”
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