08/14/2018, 14.21
INDIA
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Pentecostal church in Bihar attacked on 'false accusations of forced conversions'

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Brethren Church is located in the village of Depura. Its members have been threatened with "dire consequences". Today a young man was abducted from his home, dragged to a Hindu temple, had his head shaved, and was subjected against his will to a ceremony of reconversion to Hinduism.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Hindu radicals attacked a Pentecostal church in Bihar and threatened its members citing false charges of forced conversions, this according to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC)

Speaking to AsiaNews, the Christian leader said that the attack against the Brethren Church in Depura, a village near the city of Dalsinghsarai, occurred last Saturday. This was followed today by another episode of discrimination against a Christian.

The accusations of forced conversions are "fabricated and baseless", George said. “Pentecostals have been threatened by radical elements who accuse them of instigating religious conversions by enticing some naive residents.”

"When the police reached the village to investigate the accident, they had to face the resentment of the villagers. In the end, after much turmoil, Christians were rescued from the crowd and taken to the police station."

Those taken to the police station include Evangelist Jitendra from Devendra (Begusarai District); Kedar Paswan, a preacher from Ramdas (Punjab), who is associated with the school of Motipur in the district of Muzaffarpur (Bihar); and some women from the State of Sikkim.

Today about 50 fundamentalists from the Bajrangdal, the militant youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), went back to the village and threatened Christians with "dire consequences".

“They caught a young Christian man who was alone at home, dragged him to the nearby temple and shaved his head. They performed some Hindu rituals, claiming that they had done the 'Ghar wapsi' (reconversion). Then they told the young man to go the Ganges River to purify himself."

This action "violates the secular ideals of our Constitution,” George said. “India’s small Christian community is forced to endure great humiliation and violence from the majority.”

Meanwhile, “Evangelist Jitendra is considering filing a complaint with local and district authorities. Let us pray for the new believers, that they may remain steadfast in the faith."

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