January 4, 2018
HYDERABAD, India — Berating and slapping two pastors into signing an apology letter before police, a mob of about 70 Hindu extremists stopped a planned three-day gospel meeting in Chhattisgarh state, India, minutes before it was to begin, sources said. The pastors are Vijay Jogi and Santosh Rao. About 1,000 people had gathered at the Railway Grounds in Charoda, Durg District on Nov. 16, according to Morning Star News.
As in the previous 20 years, church leaders had obtained prior permission from both the railway and the railway police to conduct the event, a campaign that in past years has seen many people turn to Christ, Jogi said. The Hindu activists said they were offended by Bible verses quoted in pamphlets for the event and said church leaders needed permission from the sub-judicial magistrate in order to hold their meetings. Police officials agreed with the activists.
“There is very little hope for Christians in a situation like this,” Rao said. Christians in Charoda are living in fear and have not filed any case against the Hindu extremists or police, other sources said.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014, the hostile tone of his National Democratic Alliance government against non-Hindus has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians, religious rights advocates say. (MS)
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