08/27/2020, 12.29
INDIA
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Pentecostal clergymen assaulted in Jharkhand as they prayed for the sick

by Nirmala Carvalho

Hindu extremists beat two pastors with sticks and kicks after dragging them out of a house. they also took some Bibles and a mobile phone. In Uttar Pradesh, police arrested a pastor for allegedly engaging in forced conversion.

 

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Hindu extremists assaulted two Pentecostal clergymen as they prayed for a sick man they were visiting.

The incident took place on 22 August in Kharik, a village in Chatra district (Jharkhand), where acts of intolerance towards Christians are incessant.

The two victims, Revs Sanjeet and Siddharth, had been invited by a certain Lakhan to pray for his relative, Ramdev, who had been sick for a year and a half.

Lakhan is a Christian and a member of the Gospel Echoing Missionary Society GEMS).

As two were praying, a group of Hindu extremists entered the house and dragged the two men out and then beat them with sticks and kicks.

Sanjeet reported injuries and bruises to the head, back, hands and legs; Siddharth, to the right hand and thigh. In addition, Sanjeet also lost some hearing, since he was hit to the head.

The extremists also took some copies of the Bible and Siddharth's mobile phone.

On the same day, in Uttar Pradesh, a pastor was arrested for attempts to convert to Christianity.

In Etah, police took into custody Mandeep Kumar, 30, on charges of encouraging a Hindu couple in the village of Shivsinghpur to convert by reading them the Bible.

Villagers informed police that the Christian man often visited the couple in their home. The police arrested him along with his wife and questioned both.

Mandeep Kumar, a native of Delhi, and his wife Margaret Anthony moved to in Etah a month ago.

He admitted to being a pastor and of visiting homes, but insisted that he never used violence or pressure tactics.

According to the police, the Hindu couple said that they began reading the bible "under Mandeep’s influence.

For this reason, the pastor was charged under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code and taken to jail for “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings”.

Kotwali police station Inspector Sanjeev Tyagi noted that Margaret Anthony's role also had to be probed.

The Global Council of Indian Christian (GCIC) condemned both anti-Christian acts.

GCIC president Sajan K George explained that “Christians are a miniscule 2.3 per cent of the Indian population;” yet they are the victims of “sinister and fabricated propaganda” according to which they “indulge in forcible conversions.”

Because of such “baseless allegations [. . .] Christians are viewed with suspicion” and are the victims of “social ostracism”.

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