India: Series Of Attack On Christians

Joint Fact-Finding Report by: Association for Protection of CivilRights

|United Christian Forum | United Against Hate    24 October 2021

 

The violence against Muslims in India which has now become pan Indian needs to be seen with the violence and vendetta against Christians. Unfortunately the media tends to ignore the violence against Christian. Human rights groups which monitor atrocities against Christians in India,have been recording regularly the cases of violence against Christians by Hindutva groups from all states. But they have largely been unnoticed in the media or even in the human right circles. The members of the team were Prashant Tandon (Sr. Journalist), Nadeem Khan (United Against Hate), Mrs. Minakshi Singh (Unity of Compassion), Laeeq Ahmad Khan (United Against Hate), Alishan Zafri (Journalist). Recent attacks on churches especially in Uttar Pradesh which is one ofthe most populated state ofIndia have drawn the attention ofthe media. Reports from attacks on and hate speech against Christians have also come from other parts of India, especially Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

The members of the team were Prashant Tandon (Sr. Journalist), Nadeem Khan (United Against Hate), Mrs. Minakshi Singh (Unity of Compassion), Laeeq Ahmad Khan (United Against Hate), Alishan Zafri (Journalist).
The team visited Roorkee on. This report is based on our physical visit to the site, our meeting and discussion with the members of the Christian community and non_Christians community.

Roorkee Church attack
3rd October 2020

“More than 200 people allegedly barged into a church in Roorkee (Uttarakhand), vandalised the premises and attacked people assembled there for prayers on Sunday.”

Mrs. Sadhna Lance left her house at 9:30 to conduct the Sunday prayers. It was an unusual morning for Sadhna and her two daughters, Eva and Pearl. The Church’s surrounding had scores of unusual visitors. Before the family could even think what was about to happen, a mob of reportedly 250 to 300 people attacked the Church.

Victim testimonies

# Only 12 people were present in the Church when the mob attack happened. A 50+ year old man allegedly held Pearl Lance, the younger daughter of the pastor by her shoulder from behind while a tall man around 30 molested her and some women slapped and abused her. Meanwhile, they also snatched her phone away. “I had never seen those men. They held me tightly while the women abused and attacked me and the man stole my phone and molested me,” Pearl alleged.

# Rajat Kumar, the helper at the Church was attacked by the mob with iron rods. He sustained serious injuries after being allegedly hit with iron rods multiple times on his head. “They dragged me by my neck to the ground floor while raining blows on my face and back. I became unconscious after I was hit with a rod on my head.” Rajat’s face and right eye were badly bruised and swollen.

# While the mob had alleged that the Church is illegal and unlawfully functioning on a private properly, the Pastor’s family disputed these allegations and said that they are affiliated to the Full Gospel Fellowship of India under the society’s act. The family also shared their land sale deed agreement with the fact finding team to clear any doubts about their ownership of the property. Dickens Rockwell Lance was the Pastor of House of Prayers from 1988 when the small Church was built in Roorkee until his death due to COVID-19 in September 2020. Until 2010, the family stayed in the Church. However, in his lifetime the Church never faced any such threat. After the pastor’s death, the Church’s activities came to a halt. For over 4 months, the Church remained closed because of the COVID situation. However, his wife Sadhna had recently started prayer services again in January 2021 but it was again shut down shortly after the second wave of the Corona virus. “Very few people attend the prayer meetings physically and around 30 people attend online sessions. Earlier, when my husband was alive over 200 people attended the Church but we never invited outsiders to avoid any trouble,” she said.

# Eva Lance, the elder daughter, alleged that the family had reported suspicious activity to the police at least four times before the mob attack on Sunday. “We received hateful anti-Christian threats by unknown men who followed us on Wednesday before the attack. They accused us of conversion and threatened violence. I had sent an e-mail to the SP rural, visited the police station, and registered a formal complaint on 2nd October with the Civil lines police. We were assured of security by the police but no help came. Even on the day of the attack, we kept calling the police but they only came 1 hour after the mob had done the damage,” she said.

# Eva informed that usually the Sunday prayer services start at 10 AM. The mob entered the Church at that exact time. They vandalized everything- chairs, walls, fans, religious symbols, boards, and music instruments. As soon as the mob of roughly 250 300 people, a quarter of them women, invaded the Church, they destroyed the CCTV cameras. “They were armed with sticks and iron rods. They were angrily chanting religious slogans like Jai Shri Ram, HarHarMahadev,” Sadhna said.

# “They pulled my hair and slapped me. They attacked my husband Sumit and coerced us to handover the DVR. One man took the DVR and ran away,” said Akshi.

Neighbours Testimony:

# The Fact Finding Team also talked to neighbours of Lance family. They have a supportive neighbourhood of mainly Hindus and lone Muslim family. When we came there Sadhna Lance’s neighbours came out and expressed their solidarity and support to the Lance family. RK Sharma their nearest neighbor – a retired IIT Roorkee official pledged his full support to the Lance. MrAlam who lives behind her house recalled DR Lance and how cooperative and joyful person he was.

# Arti Arora who lives in the same lane told us that ‘we live here like one family’. Raj Singh, another neighbour of Sadhana Lance, a retired police inspector of UP Police said FIR with conversion allegation is baseless and they (Lance Family) are not into any such activity.

# NeighboursYogesh Chandra and GopalRai Arora also echoed the similar sentiments in support of Lance family.

A counter FIR was lodged against the pastor’s family by a woman alleging forced conversion. Thechristian family has been booked under several serious sections of the IPC- 153 (promoting religious disharmony), 395 (dacoity) 120b (criminal conspiracy) and other sections. Dismissing the charges, Sadhna said, “This is a false case. I am a retired government teacher and my daughters work to support the family. We take no donations and the church does not even have a bank account. Nobody offered that woman 2 lakh rupees. We do not know her. She has accused that I attacked her at 8:45 AM but my CCTV shows that I was not present there at that time. Do you think that we can do a dacoity?” Sadhna questioned. APCR, UAH and United Christian Forum Fact Finding Team comprising of civil society members and journalists visited Rookie on 10th October, 2021 and met the victims, Ms Sadhana Lance (wife of late Pastor ), their neighbours and recorded their testimonies. The team also visited the vandalized Church and saw the damage that had been done by the violent mob.

The Findings:
1: Despite prior complaints by Lance family Roorkee Police did not provide security to the Church and family prior to attack.
2: At the time of attack police were informed and calls were made to Civil Lines police station which is less than a kilometer away from the Church but the police team arrived when the violent mob dispersed on its own after the attack.
3. Prima facie attack looked meticulously planned to build a fake narrative of conversion. Breaking of CCTV camera at the entrance of prayer hall and taking away of DVR indicate the planning and motive of not leaving evidence behind.

Hindutva Mob Attacked Christians At Mau

10 October 2021
Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau has taken several people into custody after receiving a complaints from members of a rightwing Hindutva group that they were allegedly involved in converting people into Christianity.

 

A regular prayer service was attacked by a Hinduvamob some of whom claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini. The group then forced the Christian worshipers, including the priest to the police station. According to reports, the Hindutva mob was accusing the group of ‘converting’ people. However, the devotees including one Vijendra Rajbhar, said they had been praying here regularly. According to the First Information Report (FIR no. 410/2021) filed by one Radheshyam Singh the worshipers have been accused of forcing people to convert to Christianity through allurements, as well as “violating Covid-19 protocol, using musical instruments, consuming narcotics and other intoxicants.” The Mau district in-charge of the rightwing group Hindu JagranManch, BhanuPratap Singh, and other members complained to police that a pastor had organised a prayer meet at a man’s house in Sahadatpura Colony. The Hindutva group allegedly reached out to police following a ruckus by residents of the area who had objected to the prayer meet.

Those arrested included PastorAbraham ShakeelAhmed, his wife Pratibha, Vijendra Rajbhar and Geeta Devi, the couple in whose house the worship took place. Rajbhar said that no forcible conversions were taking place and that the worship in his house had been a regular one. Even the pastor is heard saying in a video clip that anyone can attend the worship without discrimation and that they pray for those who are unwell or need any kind of support and prayer. The First Information Report alleges that the pastor and others “insulted Hindu deities using abusive language,” reported Matters India, adding that the devotees also abused the prime minister and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.”

The seven have reportedly been booked under the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, which was brought with an ordinance last year.

(Some paragraphs and information from Sabrang India written by Karuna John.)

Extremists targeted two Nuns At Mau

12 October 2021
Over a dozen Christians were targeted including two nuns, mobs accused them of conversion, thrashed, and dragged them to police station.

Sister Gracy  Monteiro, a school principal, who belongs to the Mirpur Catholic Mission, her colleague Sister RoshniMinj, and their driver were attacked by a right-wing vigilante mob while boarding a bus to Varanasi at town bus stand of Mau. The mob dragged them to the police station after beating them up and abusing them. She, a Ursuline Franciscan nun, had come to the city bus stand around noon, with her colleague Sister Minj, and school driver (name withheld to protect identity) when a mob of Hindutva radicals, dragged them out, roughed up the driver and forcibly took the three to the police station where there were kept till 6 p.m. Sister Monetrio says she kept asking the mobs who they were, and kept trying to prevent them from hitting the driver, a non-Christian, even as the mob continued abusing and attacking and accusing the three of religious conversion. The driver who has worked in the school for a long time, has not converted to Chritianity, and now was harassed and victimised for merely being with the sisters.

 

Victim testimonies

# Sister GracyMonterio said “There were just three of us. I was accompanying Sister Minj who was going home to Ranchi to visit her dying father. As we did not get the direct bus, we went to the Mau bus stand and SrMinj went to ask about the bus, while the driver and I stayed in the car. Then a mob came and attacked the driver dragged him out, forced is nuns to walk to the police station,” she recalled, adding that they were perhaps identified as Chrtians because they were in the nun’s uniform of cream-colouredsalwarkameez and the convent’s name was painted on the side of their Bolero.

# “They said get out of the car, I asked them why. They started hitting our driver, and I told them not to hit us as I was going to answer whatever questions they had. They told us to ‘get out of the car and we will show you who we are’,” she recalled the mob took out the vehicle’s key and made them walk to the police station. It was more shocking for her that no policeman intervened when the mob attacked.

# “We were in shock, this was sudden and unprovoked. Sister Minj was already under stress as her father is critical. Even the police asked us ‘are you converting’.” It was hours later, that an inspector showed up and spoke to them, “We showed him all our proof. Even the photo of SrMinj’s critically ill father. Then the inspector said it was by mistake that we were picked up.” However, while there were no apologies, the nuns say it was the most traumatic experience,

Targeted violence and hate crimes against the Christian community in India is new trend. theChristians minority have been targeted by using violence, intimidation or harassment.

Details of incidents :

UTTAR PRADESH
Indore
FalselyAccused

In FIR bearing no. 0083/2021 dated 26.01.2021 registered at Bhanwarkuan Police Station, Indore u/s 3 &5 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021 against 11 accused while they were conducting a prayer meeting on false allegations of religious conversion activities.

UTTAR PRADESH
Shahjahanpur
Threats/Physical violence/Arrested

On 3.1.2021 David and around 25 Christians had gathered at a house in Bareli mod AwasVikas Colony, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, when some religious extremists came and started threatening and attacking all the Christians present there. Some of the Christians suffered severe injuries including broken hands. The perpetrators then informed the police and when police came they took Pastor David and three Christians into custody at Bareli mod chauki, Shahjahanpur.

Kanpur
FalselyAccused/Arrested

On 27.1.2021 Some religious extremists barged into an ongoing church meeting in Guba garden, Kalyanpur, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. They accused the Pastor Pankaj Malik of religious conversion and giving financial assistance to convert to Christianity. The perpetrators then called the police, who took the pastor in custody on charges of forceful religious conversion.

 

Bareilly
Social opposition

On 16.2.2021 Some religious extremists wrote slogans on the boundary wall of Methodist church in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently, FIR was registered at the local police station on this matter on 18th February 2021 u/s 156 & 295A. Upon inaction of the police, PastorAlbert Benjamin along with his congregation from the church took out a protest rally to exert pressure on the officials.

Ambedkar Nagar
Threat/Worship Stopped

On 21.2.2021 PastorAnjeet Kumar was conducting his Sunday fellowship with his family and other church members at his home in Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh when some of the villagers namely Ramsajivan, Krishna Kumar, Ramnath, Rohit, Mayaram, Abhimanyu, and Vasant came into the ongoing service and hurled abuses and threatened the Christians. The village head Uday Singh also accused the Christians of conversion. Subsequently, 4 police personnel came from Bhiti police station and prohibited pastorAnjeet from inviting anyone from the community for the prayers but was allowed to follow his religion. The police also took it in writing from the victim that he would not invite any friend or relative at his house for religious gatherings.

Prayagraj
Threat/Harrasment

On 25.2.2021 Pastor JitendraVarma has been serving with BharpurJiwanSewa Trust since 3 years in MuktiMohalla, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. On 25th February 2021, Pastor Jitendra had invited some Christians from the nearby places namely Lal Bahadur Bind, Shankar Bind and Pastor Sanjay Gupta from Mumbai to visit one of his church members in Ugrasenpur, Prayagraj to conduct a prayer meeting. After the service about 15 religious extremists came with a police constable and started abusing and threatening the Christians. They accused them of forcefully converting the locals.

Kanpur
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 3.3.2021 PastorKishanLal from Shivli, Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh was taken under custody by the police from Shivli PS based on allegations of religious conversion.

Agra
Falsely Accused/Arrested

on 14.3.2021 Pastor Ravi from Shahganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh was taken into custody by the Shahganj police while he was preaching to a church gathering. The victim was accused of forceful conversion activities.

Kerala
FalselyAccused/Arrested

On 22.3.2021 while Pastor Vinod, Pastor Munna Bharti, Pastor Brijesh another pastor from Kerala named Jogi were conducting a prayer meeting, when some villagers informed the police and accused them of forceful conversion. Subsequently the police arrived and took the 4 pastors into custody.

Maharajganj

Harassment

On 19.4.2021 Simon Johnson alias Sadanand Kumar from Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh, aged 19 years, fully blind has accepted Christianity by his free will and subsequently he experienced some healing in his body. He further went to Chennnai for a short term bible training. However, since the time, that he has changed his name and religion, he has been constantly subjected to harassment from his family. He had to spend many nights without food. He has been helped by some Christian families in the village.

Bijnor
FalselyAccused/Arrested

On 23.62021 Usha and Omvati from village Nagina in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh were taken into custody on 23rd June 2021. Usha was leading a prayer meeting in Satveer and Ompal’s house when a mob of religious extremists barged in and disrupted the meeting. The aggressors took photos and videos and made a false complaint to the police alleging that the evangelist was carrying out fraudulent conversions. Following this, the police detained the women and took them to the Seohara Police Station, Bijnaur. A case was filed under IPC section 151.

Gonda
Threat

On25.6.2021 an incident was reported by Sanjay Kumar from Jalapur village, Nawabganj, Gonda, Uttar Pradesh. A church gathering which was being led by a Christian leader from Mumbai named Rozy, when some religious extremists barged in there and disrupted the prayer and threatened the Christians. They also informed the local police and alleged that forceful religious conversion was being conducted there. The police subsequently came and detained Rozy along with Omprakash and his wife and another Christian.

Azamgarh
Falsely Accused

On 25.6.2021 Pastor Bhanu Pratap from Sumbhi village, Jahanaganj PS, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh has falsely accused by the local villagers that he is involved in religious conversion. He was also informed that the villagers have given a police complaint against him in this regard and the police is on a lookout for him.

Ambedkar Nagar
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 25.6.2021 Nirmala Devi from Noopur village, Malipur PS, Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh informed that her husband Pastor Punvasi has been detained by the Malipur Police. One of the villagers named Preshram gave a complaint against Pastor Punvasiallegging forceful religious conversion of his son. Subsequently the police detained Pastor Punvasi.

Rampur
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 26.6.2021 Two Christians named Raman and Shibdesh were detained from their home in MilakBakarAli village, Rampur district, Uttar Pradesh. It was alleged that the two men are involved in forceful religious conversion.

Ambedkar Nagar
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 27.6.2021 Pastor Ram Ujagir, Firtu and Ramkewal of Good Shepherd Church from Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh were arrested by the Malipur Police while they were conducting a prayer meeting in the village. It was alleged by the police that the pastor is involved in forceful religious conversion.

Raebareli
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 28.6.2021 Pastor Shiv Kumar and another Christian from Patel Nagar, Majre, Rohania, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh were taken into custody by the Salon Police. Earlier that day, some religious extremists had barged into the ongoing church service and recorded and sent it to the police and accused the Christians of religious conversion.

Shahjahanpur
Threat/worship Stopped

On 29.6.2021 PastorHarishchandra from KumbhiyaMasi village, Khutar PS, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh informed that the neighbors of his newly constructed church building have been opposing the Christians. The Pastor had left some extra land after constructing the church building, which now has been taken over by the neighbors and villagers have dug up the ground and created a drainage and claim the property to be theirs. Upon questioning, the villagers allegedly claimed that they would not return the land back as the Christians have converted their religion and falsely accused them of religious conversion as well. Further they threatened and abused the Christians and warned them to not conduct any church gatherings.

Auraiya
Harrasment/Social Opposition

On29.6.2021 PastorKomal Das and his family has been serving since 20 years in Chandrapur village, Ajitmal PS, Auraiya district, Uttar Pradesh are being targeted for their faith by their neighbors. The neighbors on 29th June 2021 have blocked their access to the road and the drainage. The neighbors are indirectly targeting the Christians and harassing them because of their faith.

Raebareli
Falsely Accused

On 02.07.2021 In FIR bearing no. 231/2021 registered at Salon police station, Rae Bareily, u/s 295A IPC, 3/5(1) UP PUCRA on 02.07.2021, the allegation against the accused is that they tore the pictures of certain deities and compelled people to convert their religion to Christianity.

Jaunpur
Detained

On 3.7.2021 Two Pastors namely Dr. Vinod KumarYadav, Ramesh Chandra Saroj and KamleshPrajapati were detained by the local Police while they were conducting a prayer meeting with some Christians in Shirkoni village, Jaunpur district, Uttar Pradesh.

Maharajganj
Falsely Accused/Detained

On 22.7.2021 Pastor Phool Singh alias Nanhe was visiting a Christian family in Lalpur village, Kuluhi Bazar, dist. Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh when some religious extremists made a false allegation against the pastor that he is involved in forceful religious conversion to the local police. Subsequently, the police arrived and detained the pastor and all the family members present in the house.

Noida
Physical violence/Social opposition

On 23.7.2021 In Noida, Uttar Pradesh while Amit his church leader was leading a prayer meeting with his family and a few other church members, some religious extremists barged in and disrupted the prayer meeting and physically assaulted the Pastor. The local police was informed about this incident, they called both the parties to the police station and brought them to a compromise. The Pastor was asked to vacate the house by his landlord, so he moved into a church member’s house in a different locality.

Lucknow
Falsely Accused

On 29.7.2021 Pastor Daniel Banerjee from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh informed that a false complaint has been given against him in the local police station that he is involved in forceful religious conversion. The police came to his home enquiring about the pastor but he was visiting Bijnor. He was asked to come to the police station when he returns to the city.

Lakhimpur Kheri
Falsely Accused/ Threat

On2.8.2021Pastor BalGovind from village Hempur, LakhimpurKheri, Uttar Pradesh targeted by some religious extremists by filing a complaint against him and his father Ram Singh and a church member named Santram. The police called them to the police station and enquired if they are involved in forceful conversion. News portals and some news agencies have broadcasted a biased story against the Christian community. There is continuous threat against the Christians in the village after news went viral. On Sunday 08th August, the religious extremists came while his church service was going on and threatened and abused the Christians.

Varanasi
Threat/physical violence

On 3.8.2021 PastorVijay Kumar from Jansa, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting at his church member’s house along with 5-8 Christians in Phoolpur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. While the prayer meeting was going on some religious extremists barged in and started abusing, threatening and physically assaulted them. They then took PastorVijay and his wife ,Pastor Neel Durail and some Other to Phoolpur police station.

Azamgarh
Harassment/ Threat/Arrested

On 4.8.2021 PastorShyamand from Nijhamabad, Gambhirpur, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh informed that some religious extremists from his village came to his house and started abusing and threatening him and his family. They threatened them to return to Hinduism and go to the temple and offer water to their gods. After the Christians refused to comply, the religious extremists along with some villagers gave a complaint to the local police. Subsequently, the Police came and took Pastor’s brother Joginder into custody at Gambhirpur police station.
https://publicapp.co.in/video/sp_vuydnka8xghbl?share=true”

Varanasi
Falsely Accused

On 4.8.2021a False complaint was given against a Christian which turned into FIR bearing no. 0236/2021 dated 04.08.2021 registered u/s 153A, 295A IPC, 3/5(1) UP PUCRA at Phoolpur police station, Varanasi, complainant, holds a designation with the RashtriyaSwayamsewakSangh (RSS).

Prayagraj
Detained

On 5.8.2021 Gaya Prasad Yadav, LalBahadur Patel, Chandrapal and a few other Christians had gathered together to pray in village GaarapurMalakaPhaphamau, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The local police from Tharwai police station came and asked the Christians to come to the Police station, after enquiry at the Police station, three of the Christians were detained.

Rampur
Physical violence/FalselyAccused/Detained

On 4.7.2021 PastorManoj from Lohapatti village, Milak PS, Rampur district, Uttar Pradesh was invited for prayer to one of his church member’s house, he was conducting a prayer along with 80 to 90 Christians. One of the villagers named Rambachan informed religious extremists that Pastor Manoj is converting people into Christianity. Subsequently a mob of around 40 religious extremists came and attacked the pastor, he sustained severe injuries. The police was also informed of the incident, and they took the pastor to the police station and detained him.

Gonda
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 16.7.21 Ashish Paul informed that his brother Pastor Sushil Paul was taken into custody by the Nawabganj police. The incident took place in Gonda district, Uttar Pradesh. The local police had received a complaint from some religious extremists that the pastor is involved in religious conversion.

Kasganj
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 18.7.2021 The local police had arrested Pastor Sadhu Gautam and 5 others from Gungpur village, Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh with false allegation of forceful religious conversion. The police had received a complaint from some religious extremist leaders that these men are involved in conversion
https://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/state/uttar-pradesh/others/uttar_pradesh-police-sent-kasganj-six-people-in-jail-alleged-of_conversion/articleshow/84575854.cmshttps://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/stat
e/uttar-pradesh/others/the-matter-of-conversion-came-to-the-fore-from_kasganj/videoshow/84586852.cms”

Kushinagar
Detained

On 21.7.2021 “ShirinBasumata Foundation”, a Christian organization based in Padrauna, Kushinagar, UttarPradesh has been targeted by the local religious extremists. A case related to the orphanage is already pending in the High Court, Allahabad. On 21st July, Police and other government officials raided the orphanage and took all the children in to custody along with Pastor Jaywant.

Prayagraj
Threat/Harrasment

On 5.8.2021 PastorBalchand and Pastor Indrasen Singh were harassed and threatened by some religious extremists when they were traveling in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh to conduct a prayer meeting in a village. The religious extremists gathered around them and threatened and harassed the Christians for their faith.

Ghazipur
Falsely Accused/Threat/Social opposition

On 10.8.2021 Pastor Subhash Chand from Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh informed that a false complaint has been given against him by some villagers, they have threatened to close the church and have forbidden the church members from coming into the building. The pastor and his family have also been forbidden from accessing the hand pump, for clean drinking water.

Unnao
Threat/Arrested

On 11.8.2021 Pastor Shivraj from JunguKheda village, AasivanJanpad PS, Unnao, Uttar Pradesh was targeted by some religious extremists for his faith. A religious extremist named Vijay Kumar s/o MachriLal made false allegations that Pastor Shivraj along with few other Christians have physically assaulted Vijay Kumar and threatened to kill him. A case was registered against the Pastor and was arrested and sent to Unnao district jail.

Baharaich
Threat/Detained

On 14.8.2021 Murli Chauhan from Sikhwani village, Risia PS, Baharaich, Uttar Pradesh informed that a few Christian women were praying when the Pradhan of the village came and warned them to leave Christianity. The Pradhan then informed the police, who came for a round of enquiry and then left. Later the same evening at 9pm, the Police returned and detained two Christian men namely LalBahadur and Indrajit to the Risia Police station.

Azamgarh
Threat

On16.8.2021 Pastor RaghavKarenwa from Devkhari, Bhawarnath, Kandharapur, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting along with his family when some people from his village came and started threatening them and called them to the village head’s house. The Christians obliged and went to the Pradhan’s house, but the Pradhan also started threatening the Christians and accused them of conversion.

Kushinagar
Threat/Falsely Accused/ Detained

On 18.8.2021 KanahiyaPrajapati from Gopalapur, Jaunpur Uttar Pradesh was visting his sister’s house in Kushinagar district, Uttar Pradesh when some villagers came and started abusing and threatening him. They accused him of forceful conversion of the villagers and informed the police. Subsequently the local police arrived and detained for two days him based on the complaint received by the villagers.

Baharaich
Threat/Harrasment/falsely Accused

On 23.8.2021 Amarjeet and his mother were threatened by the police in Baharaich, Uttar Pradesh. Harishankar informed that the police raided their house on 23rd August 2021, they removed the Christian calendars and took the Bibles. They accused the family of being involved in forceful conversions.

Ambedkarnagar
Social opposition

On 26.8.2021 PastorVishwanath Gaur from Ambedkarnagar, Uttar Pradesh informed that he was called to the local police station and the Police Incharge has instructed him to stop the church service. The incharge also took a copy of his Trust deed.

Hardoi
Falsely Accused/ Arrested

On 29.8.2021 PastorManoj Kumar from Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh was detained by the local police on accusation forceful religious conversion. The police barged into the ongoing church service and tookhim to the local police station.

Jaunpur
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 29.8.2021 PastorHarishchandra from Rampu, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh informed that while he was conducting prayer service some religious extremist came to the church and accused the Christians of forceful religious conversion and recorded videos of the ongoing worship, they then informed the Police who came and took Pastor Harishchandra and another Christian named Subash into the custody.

Noida (Gautambudh Nagar)
Physical violence/ falsely Accused

On 29.8.2021 Pastor Praveen from AG Church, Noida, Uttar Pradesh was attacked by some of his neighbors after he had finished his church service in the evening. The neighbors alleged that the Pastor is involved in religious conversion. The perpetrators also physically assaulted some of the Christians who have sustained internal injuries. The police was informed of the incident, who came and suggested to compromise or else asked the Pastor to vacate the rented house.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9UP70cHSwA

Azamgarh
Arrested

On 31.8.2021 At around 1 pm when Pastor Ramchandra (who is originally from Varanasi)was having house fellowship in Kartalpur, Azamgarh was taken into custody in AzamgarhKotwali. The local religious extremists along with Police in civil dress came to the meeting and they said that they want to know more about Jesus. After 15 minutes they left and came back with 5 constables and took Pastor into custody.

Varanasi
Harrasment/Threatened/Falsely   Accused

On 31.8.2021 Pastor Sudheer from IBT Church Pindra, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh was harassed by some religious extremists who had come to his house in the night and threatened and harassed him. They warned him from conducting chuch services or else they would attack the church. It is the same group had filed the false complaint against Pastor Neil Durai earlier in August.

 

Sultanpur
Threat/Harrasment

On 1.9.2021 Pastor Ravi informed that Pastor Savajeet from Pataimuraini, Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh was harassed by some religious extremists. The religious extremists came to his home and asked for donations for the local temple but when the Pastor refused to donate they threatened him.

Ayodhya
Detained

On 1.9.2021 Pastor Ghanshyam from Saraymanjan, PS Rudauli, Faizabad, Ayodhya district, Uttar Pradesh was detained by the police when he was praying with a small group in the church. On 2nd September morning when Mukesh, Suraj and Ramsingh went to Police Station to meet Pastor, they were also detained by the police.

Bahraich
Falsely Accused/Detained

On 2.9.2021 PastorAjay from Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh was detained by the Motipur Police. The Pastor was called to the police station for enquiry, when he went there, the police informed that they have received a complaint against him that he is involved in forceful religious conversion. They also said that a team from Lucknow is coming to pick him up and they will take him to Lucknow for interrogation.

Ayodhya
Threat/ Detained

On 5.9.2021 PastorDurgesh informed that Pastor Ghanshyam from ManiganjAyodhya, Uttar Pradesh was praying with other Christians when some policemen came from Khandasa police station and started to threaten them for not taking permission for gathering in a large crowd. Subsequently they detained Pastor Ghanshyam and three other Christians. Ghanshyam was earlier detained on 1st September as well from his home in the night.

Mainpur
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 5.9.2021 Pastor ShankarVerma from Kharakjit Nagar, Mainpur District, Uttar Pradesh was taken into custody by the police based on a complaint received by another Christian alleging forceful religious conversion. ”

Kanpur
Falsely Accused/Social opposition

On 5.9.2021 Pastor Samson Masih from Durgapur Colony, Kidwai, Kanpur Nagar, Uttar Pradesh was leading a Sunday church when a mob of 20 religious e xtremists barged in and started video recording. They threatened the Christians and accused them of forceful religious conversion.

Bhadohi
Social opposition

On 7.9.2021 PastorAjay Kumar Gautam from Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh receivedaa call from Kotwali {Main City Police Station} Bhadohi to meet the SHO. He was under observation from last few days by local police. A constable had also attended one of his church services in civil dress. The new village chief also opposes the church activities. SSP of the area was also aware of the situation. Again on 11th September 2021, PastorAjay Gautam received a call from two policemen to meet the SHO of police station Bhadohi.

Azamghar
Detained

On 7.9.2021 Vikas from Misripur, Lalghat, Azamghar, Uttar Pradesh informed that Pastor RajuManjhi ofWest Bengal was conducting a prayer meeting at a church member’s home in Azamgarh. Some anonymous person gave a complaint against the Pastor and subsequently the Police detained him at Jiyanpur Thane, Azamgarh.

Jaunpur
Falsely Accused/ Detained

On 7.9.2021 Pastor JiyalalNishad from Ramdayalpur, Madhiyahun, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting at a church member’s home in Ledhuwan village along with 15 Christians. Subsequently the pastor was detained in Sikrara Police Station, Machhlishahar on a complaint given by some person for forceful conversion.

Kushinagar
Threat/ Harrasment/ Detained

On 8.9.2021 PastorRamuddeshyaSahni and Omprakash from Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh were leading a prayer meeting when some religious extremists barged in and threatened and harassed them accusing them of forceful religious conversion. They then informed the police who came and detained both the pastors to Hanumangarh police station, Kushinagar.

Raebareli
Falsely Accused

On 8.9.2021 SanjuDevi from village Khushurupur, Raebareli,Uttar Pradesh was leading a prayer meeting when group of local media people showed up in front of their prayer hall and accused them of conversion activities. The Christians dialed 100 and called the police, two policemen came and talked to both the parties. The media personnel accused Sanju and other members of the church of receiving foreign funds illegally for religious conversion work. Sanju refused all the allegations.

Azamgarh
Detained

On 8.9.2021 Pastor Rajesh Kumar from Misripur, Lalghat, Azamghar, Uttar Pradesh was distributing food in the community when the local police arrived and detained him in Jianpur police station Azamgarh.

Ayodhya
Falsely Accused/ Detained

On 10.9.2021 It was informed by Manjit Richard that at Jeruva village, Bikapur Tehsil, Ayodhya district, Uttar Pradesh five people were detained by the Kotwali Police and sent to jail. The police was allegedly informed by their sources that the Christians are involved in forceful religious conversion and speak ill of Hinduism.

Mahoba
Falsely Accused/Detained

On 11.9.2021 PastorAshish John fromPanwari, Mahoba district, Uttar Pradesh was detained by police on his visit in a village for prayer. A false complaint was given against him by local extremist group. The villagers are supportive of the Pastor and deny any conversion related activities by him and state that no one from village has been allured or pressurised by the pastor to belive in Christianity

Ghaziabad
Detained

On 12.9.2021 Pastor Dinesh from Ghaziabad was detained by the police of BanthlaChauki, Loni, Gaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. When he went to register a complaint against some religious extremists threatened and harassed him if he continued the church services.

Gorakhpur
Threat

On 13.9.2021 Pastor InderjeetDusadh from GolaKoliram road, Rani Bazaar, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting at his home when some policemen came and stopped the service and asked about the permisson to conduct the prayer meeting. The police threatened the Christians to send them to jail.

Kushinagar
Threat

On 14.9.2021 ChhoteLal from Bhagwanpur, Hanumanganj, Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting at his house when two police constable came and stopped the service, they warned them of arrest if they continue with the church gatherings.

Sitapur
Falsely Accused

On 14.9.2021 PastorVinod Kumar Sattimadhe from Maholi, Sitapur District, Uttar Pradesh was detained by theSitapur Police when he was visting one Christian family. A false complaint was filed by some religious extremists. The police then registered an FIR against the victim under sections 153A, and 3/5 of IPC.

Kanpur
Social opposition/Detained

On 19.9.2021 PastorVed Prakash Yadav (Pastor PappuYadav) from Lal Bungalow area of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, He was conducting a prayer meeting along with 45 to 50 believers at his home. A crowd of right wing group hadcome in the church and they was shouting slogans against the worship against the people of the church and Pastor called the police after some time police came and took Pastor and some others into custody.

Kushinagar
Falsely Accused/ Arrested

On 19.9.2021 Pastor RambhajanVishkarma from Sakhauli, Abhirauli Bazar, Kushinagar Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting at his home when someone called the police and made a false complaint against the Pastor. Subsequently, the police arrived and took the Pastor to Abhirauli Bazar police station.

Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh
FalselyAccused/ Arrested

On 3.10.2021 Prem Singh was conducting a prayer service in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh when suddenly police barged in and disrupted their prayer service and warned the pastor not to continue with their service and also detained the pastor. There was a false complaint of forceful conversion against him.

Hathras, Uttar Pradesh
Falsely Accused/ Arrested

On 3.10.2021 Pastor Suraj Pal from Village HasanpurBaru, District Hathras, Uttar Pradesh was called by the SHO of Sadabad Police Stationon on receiving a complaint from 4 people accusing him for forceful religious conversion by alluring the people and later took him under the custody of police.

Azamgarh ,Uttar Pradesh
Falsely Accused/ Arrested

On3.10.2021 PastorNandu Nathalie from Azamgarh,Uttar Pradesh was conducting a prayer meeting along with 20 to 25 members of the church when police barged in and disrupted the service and detained pastor along with 15 other members from the church at Kotwalithana.FIR has been registered under sections of the UP anti_conversion law and other IPC sections.The victim and his wife are in jail since then.

Maharajganj,Uttar Pradesh
Threat/Harrasment/Falsely Accused

On 3.10.2021 Pastor Durgesh Bharti from Nasirabad village, Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh was threatened and abused by a religious extremists group while conducting a prayer service in his house. The perpetrators called the police and filed a false complain of religious conversion against the victim. The police took Pastor Durgesh into custody at Paniyara thane.

Bijanaur, Uttar Pradesh
Harrasment

On 3.10.2021 Pastor Dinesh after concluding a Sunday prayer was on his way home in the village of ChakGordhan, Bijanaur, Uttar Pradesh. Dineshs stopped by two policemen on the way and questioned as to where he was coming from. The pastor responded from the church service. Then seeing the Bible etc. with the pastor, the policemen said that he would have to report at the local police station the next day.

Dewaria
Physically violence/social opposition

On 19.9.2021 Sister Rena from SudamaChauraha, Dewaria, Uttar Pradesh, runs and owns St. Joseph’s School and she conducts a Church service in the school.Reena was conducting a prayer meeting along with some Christians when around 15 to 20 religious extremists came and started throwing stones on the Church, the Christians informed the police, the police came and took sister Reena into custody. The police forcefully pressurised sister Reena to write that she will not be conducting any church gatherings in the school. On 26th September 2021, Sister Reena wanted to start the prayer meeting, but the religious extremists were waiting outside the school premises and did not allowed anyone to enter the school campus.

Etawah
FalselyAccused

On 20.9.2021 Shyamsundarfrom Etawah , Uttar Pradesh was detained by the police on complaint from their neighbours for religious conversion. Police searched his house for the religious documents and booked him under 3/5 FOR A

Faizabad
FalselyAccused

On 1.10.2021 Pastor Ravinder Kumar and around 40 Christians including women and children were detained at Bikapur police station, Faizabad district, Uttar Pradesh. The victims had gathered together to pray when the Tehsildar along with SHO, CO, SDM barged in and forcefully detained them alleging that they are involved in forceful conversion.

Roorkee, Uttarakhand
Physical violence/Vandalism

On 3.10.2021 In FIR bearing no. 0644/2021 registered at Kotwali Roorkee Police station u/s 395,354,323,120-B,153-A,384, 504 IPC, 3(1)(x) SC/STAct against 11 accused, it is stated that a mob of 500 extremists broke into a prayer meeting of 10-15 people who had gathered for Sunday prayer. Both women and men were attacked by the extremists and vandalized the church premises. Five people who were inside the Church for prayers sustained injuries, including Rajat Kumar, who was in critically injured.

Delhi
Threat

3.10.2021 In Asola Fatehpur Beri, New Delhi, 12 men came to Pastor Santosh Dan’s home and threatened him for sharing the Gospel. They accused the pastor of trying to convert people through allurement. Avideo of him was made and he was warned not to let any Hindu into his home for any reason.

Pawai
Threat/Arrested

On 6.10.2021 Pastor Ram Vachan Bind informed that his son Bablu from Gram Dhakha, NarvarithanaPawai, Uttar Pradesh was abused and threatened by the group of religious extremist along with the police. After some time Police took 8 believers into custody at Pawai thane Azamgarh.

Sitapur
Threat/Harrasment/Detained

On 7.10.2021 Pastor Rakesh Kumar in village MasingpuSitapur District, Uttar Pradesh on his house visit of a fellow Christian for a prayer meeting was disrupted by a group of local villagers who barged in and focefully snatched pastor’s government IDs and his Bible and threatned to file a complaint against him and after some time police came and detained the victim in the Khairabad police station.

Gorakhpur
Falsely Accused/Arrested

On 10.10.2021 PastorGovinda and Pastor Karan from Campirganj , Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. They were conducting a prayer meeting at his house along with 20 to 30 believers, somebody has made a false complaint against them, after some time some police came and took Pastor Govind and Pastor Karanintocustody.

Mau
Falsely Accused/ Arrested

On 10.10.2021 PastorAbaraham serving with UP Mission is being taken into custody in Mau Kotwali, Uttar Pradesh. The right wing group came and disrupted the Sunday worship and later called the police. A complaint has been given against the Pastor for forceful conversion. Today Sunday morning the police came and took them into custody while they were praying with other local believers.

Maharajganj
Social opposition /Physical Assault

On 3.10.2021 PastorShrinivas Prasad’s prayer meeting was disrupted by anti-Christian elements in Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh. In the midst of protesting the prayer meeting, a Christian girl was also physically assaulted.

Chhattisgarh, Mahasamund
Physical violence/Vandalism

On 3.10.2021 In the village Kusumi, Komakhan Police station, Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh, the same Christian victims were attacked twice by the villagers. One in the morning and another later in the afternoon as per information from Chhattisgarh Christian Forum. The villagers entered the house church and vandalized and slapped a 12-year-old boy inside the church.

Haryana
Physical violence/ Vandalism

On 3.10.2021 In Karnal, Haryana, a Christian woman, Kanika, and about 25 to 30 other Christians were attacked by members of a right-wing group during a Sunday prayer service. The home where Christians were praying was also vandalized.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Threat

On 3.10.2021 InJwalapur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, right-wingers accompanied by police disrupted and threatened a church service. Vipin Kumar is the pastor of this church. The incident did not cause any injuries. The Christians, however, did not file any complaints.

Chhattisgarh, Bhilai
FalselyAccused

On 3.10.2021 InBhilai, Chhattisgarh, Pastor Santosh Rao was summoned to the CharodaBhilai GRP police station. The police informed him that he was accused of performing a religious conversion. However, the pastor was released after he was questioned.

Madhya Pradesh ,Hoshangabad
Social opposition

On 3.10.2021 InHoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, right-wing extremists disrupted Christian worship and accused Christians of converting people to Christianity. An evangelist named Prerit was leading the prayer meeting.

Maharajganj
Physical violence/Arrested

On 10.10.2021 Pastor Srinivas and his wife were severely beaten by the religious fanatics this afternoon while they were having Sunday worship in Siswa Bazaar, Maharajganj. They have been taken into custody in Kothibhar Police Station, Siswa Bazaar, Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh. Pastor Srinivas was also beaten inside the police station.

Hardoi
Falsely Accused

On 11.10.2021PastorAshray s/o Badriram Village Phukaha Post Hariharpur, Thana Tariyava, Dist. Hardoi. He was conducting prayer meeting at Phukaha village then village people have informed Police about conversion then police came and took photos and videos of Church and believers. Tomorrow he has been called at local Police station.

Ambedkar Nagar
Falsely Accused/ Arrested

On 13.10.2021 PastorAnjeetkumar, he is from Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. Triveni Prasad is village Pradhan and his believer, right wing have given a complaint against him accusing the pradhanof alluring the villagers into Christianity against Rs 50,000. In the evening the police took him into custody.

*Sources: sabrang.india, UCF, EFIRLC

This article was re-published from Countercurrents

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