Bajrang Dal Attacks Believers and Pastors Inside Church in Bihar
On 10th April 2016, a group of Bajrang Dal members stormed the church service of GEMS church at Nabinagar and began to beat the believers and the missionaries. On 5th April, a graduate of Timothy Bible College was severely beaten and abused in Patna district.
The Area Convention of Magahi 2 Zone was conducted from 8th to 10th April 2016 in the theme ‘Holiness upon Holiness’ at the GEMS church in Nabinagar in which 210 believers participated. It was organized by Area Leader Bro. Jebakumar Dhanraj and the local arrangements were done by the pastor of this church Bro. Suresh Lakhra.
In the morning of 10th April, after 30 new believers were baptized, 35 people belonging to Nabinagar and members of Bajrang Dal stormed the church service. They first called out Bro. Jebakumar Dhanraj and instantaneously slapped him on the face; and another person took the ladle (long spoon for rice cooking) from the cooking vessel and began to beat the believers and the missionaries. Bro. Ganesh who serves at Amba received a heavy blow on his back from the ladle and Bro. Sadha Shankar who serves at Rafiganj and Bro. Suresh Lakhra were beaten on their hands and leg with the ladle. They used abusive words against the women believers and the wives of the missionaries. Bro. Jai Kumar (SRD) and his wife were also there to minister in the Convention. Bro. Paul Sunder (Zonal Superintendent, M2) was present until the second day of the convention.
The police arrived at the scene immediately and were mostly in favour of the perpetrators and persecutors.
False Reporting by Newspapers
Dainik Jagran and Hindustan carried news on the Nabinagar issue in the morning of 11th April.
Dainik Jagran falsely reported that the people were called in the pretence of healing. When the vermillion of the forehead of three women was removed, people belonging to Hindu associations opposed. The newspaper also falsely reported of people from Dehri-On-Sone having attended the Nabinagar church meeting and that they had said that conversion was taking place. It has also reported that it was Navratri festival season and for three days meat and fish was being served!
Hindustan also falsely reported that the problem was forceful conversion. Though the newspapers could name the pastor in the report, they did not mention the name of even one person who forcefully entered the church and committed heinous acts of hurting and abusing Christians inside a church.
The police administration has filed F.I.R. against Bro. Suresh Lakhra on three charges, of which two are non-bailable. The police has not filed any case against the culprits who forcefully entered the church and committed crimes of human rights violations.
GEMS Timothy Bible College Graduate Severely Beaten & Abused
In yet another persecution against Christians in Bihar by Hindu right-wing extremists, Bro. Deepak who graduated from Timothy Bible College in 2013 and serves at Barh in Patna District (with Blessing India Mission) was severely beaten on 5th April 2016.
In the evening of 5th April 2016 (Tuesday), Deepak went to Budhani Chak village (near Barh Railway Station) to share the message of Jesus Christ. During that time 10 people belonging to Bajrang Dal and RSS took hold of Deepak, took him to a room in a Community Centre (Hindu religious books were kept and Hindu Raj banners were tied in that room). They bound his hands, legs and neck with chains and began to beat him severely. They bet him with rods, belt, slippers and sickle and continued to beat him from 5 PM to 10 PM. His clothes began to soak in blood and as he fell unconscious, they gave him water and poured alcoholic spirit on the wounds. They forced Bro. Deepak to drink urine and made him completely naked.
Not wanting to leave behind any evidence of their brutality they took away his shirt and pant. They wrote a false statement that Deepak gave rupees ten thousand and converted people and forced him to sign the statement. All the while, they wanted Deepak to abuse the name of Jesus Christ and gave him electric shock several times and intimidated that they will kill and throw him on the railway track. But he refused, saying “kill me, but I will not abuse the name of Jesus”.
Persecution Relief and Alliance for Defending Freedom teams are helping with these cases of persecution. Pray for the persecution of believers and missionaries at Nabinagar and Patna. Pray for the false cases filed against Bro. Suresh and for proper legal intervention and appropriate action in both the cases. Pray for truth and justice to prevail; for the upholders of the law, the police, media, govt. administration and judiciary, to deal righteously