06/20/2019, 12.02
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Chennai, Protestant Christians evangelize on the train. Reported for public disturbance

by Nirmala Carvalho

In Tamil Nadu proselytizing activity is not illegal. Christians charged with "disturbing public peace". The passengers were annoyed by their insistent way of proclaiming the Gospel.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A group of evangelical Christians has been reported for "disturbing public peace" by passengers on the Chennai-Tiruchirapalli train. The incident took place on 12 June, on board the convoy that connects the state capital of Tamil Nadu to the inland town. Passengers complained to the Southern Railway railway station of Chennai because they were annoyed by the Christians  persistent methods in announcing the Gospel.

According to the passengers who were traveling on the train, the group of evangelicals proclaimed "the word of Jesus Christ" claiming that some of them had recovered after their conversion to Christianity. For this reason they also urged others to deny their faith by embracing the Christian faith.

A video of the preaching ended up online and attracted public attention with police being called upon to punish the Christians. In Tamil Nadu, however, proselytizing is not illegal and the police have registered only one complaint based on Article 145 of the Railway Norms, which sanctions those who cause nuisance, engage in obscene acts or use indecent language.

For his part, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemns "the increase of intolerance towards the Christian faith". Then he remembers other similar episodes: in 2017 a nun was arrested and charged with kidnapping children, while she accompanied a group of girls to a summer camp; previously, Madhya Pradesh authorities had arrested a group of children on their way to a Christian retreat. According to the Christian leader, "the voice of the majority is getting louder, and seeks to silence that of the tiny Christian community".

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