“You will never see your son again, we will burn him alive”, warn religious fanatics, Telangana
Tensions have been simmering at a home in Vasavi Nagar, Kushaiguda, Medchal District, Hyderabad, Telangana, where approximately 40 religious fanatics, barged into the house of an underprivileged widow, living with her son, demanding that she vacate the house or see her son being burned alive in front of her house.
Sis. Sheeja Thomas, wife of late Pastor M. T. Thomas, has been living in a rented home, along with her son. Her daughter has been married off. After losing her husband, she continued Pastoring the house Church which was started by her late husband, She had just moved to the current accommodation, a modest home, at Vasavi Nagar, a month ago.
On Sunday, 07th July 2019, during worship service, her neighbor Ram Babu along with some religious fanatics barged into the Sunday Worship Service. This “mob of young religious fanatics” surrounded the house putting it under siege, shouting hostile anti-Christian slogans and chanting “jai shri ram”, demanding with impunity that “we don’t want Christians in this village”. Sis. Sheeja was physically pushed and manhandled.
The fanatics also shouted abuses at the members who had gathered. A visiting itinerant, Pastor Jadaon, who was to share the message and give the Holy Communion, was also not spared.
“If you don’t vacate this house, you will never see your son again, we will burn him alive”, warned the religious fanatics.
Shaken up by the incident, Sis. Sheeja lodged a Police complaint. However, the Police at Kushaiguda Police Station, categorically stated that she should not worship at her residence in the future and to secure permission from the Collector, before they gather for prayer in future.
The next day, Policemen visited the home at 11 pm, without a Policewoman, entered and checked all the rooms. Still later, more Policemen, armed with flashlights, kept trespassing into the private property throughout the night, flashing lights through the windows of the house, making her feel most vulnerable and defenseless.
Shankar Luke the Vice Chairman of Minority department spoke to the Commissioner and an appointment was fixed. After the meeting, the Commissioner has clearly stated that there should be no objection to the family gathering for prayer at the residence.
Learning of this development, Police have “pressurized” Sis. Sheeja to give “in writing” a statement drafted by the Police, stating that she will not conduct any worship service without permission at her residence.
“Police have not arrested or reprimanded anyone so far, for trespassing into my house, molesting and manhandling me and abusing our prayer Group”.
Is that justice? Where is the equality? Where is the religious freedom? Where is the law? Why is my Constitution right being denied?”
The scale of crackdown against the Christian minority community has been unprecedented in the past few years.
In 2018, Persecution Relief has recorded 447 incidents of hate-crimes. In the first six months of 2019, we have recorded 208 incidents of hate crimes against Christians in India.
Church, continue to pray for freedom to exercise our Constitutional rights that we may bring many out of darkness into His marvelous light!
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