London: (By Hannah Chowdhry) After a Christian House Church was heckled and then attacked by members of a Hindu Nationalist Youth Movement on 3rd March 2022, BACA stepped in to help.
Though the attack was instigated by the Hindu Youth, police arrested 4 men and 2 women from the church only. They charged them with running a lottery, forced conversions and causing religious hurt. This is despite a paucity of evidence.
Christianophobic authorities, seem intent on prosecuting the beleaguered Pastor and members of his church, despite strong evidence to the contrary. Read more (here).
After the attack and the actions of the local Police, Pastor Rajendra Kumar was subjected with a forced eviction by his landlord. he spoke with BACA officers:
“The house owner, Mr Kailash Ravat was threatened by the people of Bajrangdal.
“He asked me to vacate his house for fear of an attack by Bajrangdal”
Pastor Rajendra and his family then moved to another location a little further away at a place named Barwani, on 1st June, to avoid further attacks. He added:
“I was lucky to get no serious injury during the last attack, I could not be confident that Police would protect us from a second attack and members of Bajrangdal said they would attack my family.
“I really had no option but to move”
A legal defence for the 6 named Christians accused of illegal conversions and causing religious hurt is being fought by Advocate Sanju Chowrase and Advocate Kamlaish Kumar Solangi at the Kukshi District Courts. The trial began on 26th June and Pastor Rajendra who only ran a very small unsupported church is calling for help with the cost of the fees.
“By the end of the case we shall have to pay 32,000 (£335) Indian Rupees to the solicitors.
BACA has contributed 19,500 Indian Rupees (£205) towards the solicitor fees and would like to support the 6 accused Christians with the rest of the cost. If you have been moved by this account and are able to help us fund the entirety of these legal fees then please donate .
On 26th June, Pastor Rajendra Kumar travelled to Kukshi District Courts but the hearing could not proceed told Pastor Rajendra.
“We are still awaiting a date for our next hearing, which our solicitor will provide to us soon”
The pastor and his family have to travel a distance of almost 40 kilometers to reach the court. This is very burdensome for them. Pastor Rajendra has now lost his business and his church and currently is not employed.
Pastor Rajendra told our operations manager that they have already lost their business. There were five families who regularly attended their church in Kukshi they cannot travel to their new home. Moreover, Barwani is an area populated mainly with Hindus the area is also quite hardline with their Hindu faith and it would be dangerous for a church in the area.
Pastor Narendra has attained a Masters degree in English Literature and has applied for several teaching jobs. However, each school has rejected his applications which he believes is due to his Christian faith. Pastor Rajendra is living in very tough financial conditions and has requested any further support that might be available. BACA is willing to provide a love offering for which you can donate (here).
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“The biased nature of police and other authorities in India, means running a church in India is a very dangerous role.
“I am flabbergasted that despite clear video evidence that the church were not involved in any wrongdoing, the state is deciding to take action against them.
“In recent years persecution in India has become internationally recognized and Open Doors an NGO that highlights global Christian persecution, have now placed them at number 10 on their World Watch list.
“The current Modi regime has ruined years of religious peace in India.
“We pray that countries in the West exert more pressure on the Indian Government, to challenge them towards a fairer society.”