Christians in India are finding that the very people who should be protecting them from attack – the police – are now becoming complicit in their persecution.
Believers in the east of the subcontinent say officers are increasingly under the sway of Hindu extremists and are allowing persecution to go ahead unpunished. Not only are they standing by while Christians are beaten but they then arrest the victims!
These allegations follow a recent attack on Pastor Ajay Kumar and a Bible college student called Assaryav in Begusarai district, Bihar state. The men were lured into a marketplace on false pretences then badly beaten. Their attackers ordered police not to interfere – and they obeyed.
Pastor Ajay suffered internal injuries and is reported to have persistent pain in one ear; Assaryav has a leg injury. Senior police who arrived on the scene later arrested the Christians, not their attackers, and charged them with ‘outraging religious feelings’.
Two days later, Hindu extremists gathered outside the nearby Mahanaim Church and accused its pastor, Christopher Bhonsle, of ‘forcible conversion’. Again, police called to the scene took down the Christians’ details and searched the pastor’s home. They later admitted to Pastor Christopher that they had acted merely to ‘appease’ the Hindu extremists.
- Pray for Christians in Begusarai district who reportedly feel exposed and vulnerable as police appear to be siding with the extremists.
- Pray that Bihar state officials will take action against religious intolerance. A recent meeting of church leaders with the state’s chief minister was ‘abruptly cancelled’.
- Ask God to strengthen and comfort His people in Bihar, amid mounting attacks on Christians and especially church leaders.
(Source: Morning Star News)
Our imprisoned Chinese brother, Pastor Yang Hua, urgently needs our prayer: his lawyer says that the leader of the much persecuted Huoshi Church is in severe pain and unable to walk because of a serious problem with his leg. One doctor has diagnosed allergic vasculitis (an inflammation of the blood vessels) and said his leg might need to be amputated unless he receives treatment. So far, this has been denied. Please pray that Pastor Yang will be released on medical parole and given the treatment he needs. (Source: China Aid)
Please pray for our Iranian brother Ebrahim Firouzi who has recently lost an appeal against a five-year jail sentence for evangelism. He was already in jail when this second sentence was handed down in 2015. Ebrahim’s elderly mother is said to be very ill with cancer. (Source: Mohabat News)
Three other Iranian Christians – Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammad Reza Omidi – are still waiting to hear if they have won their appeal against a sentence of 80 lashes for drinking communion wine. A second case against them relating to crimes against ‘national security’ has yet to come to court; judges in Rasht have now referred the case to Tehran. Pray they will be acquitted on all counts. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)