Community News

Church stoned during Sunday Service at Nagpur

Nagpur: On October 16, the St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India here was stoned, while the Sunday worship was going on. Regular worship services have been conducted on the first floor of this rented accommodation for the past four years. It was during the service that a woman entered the hall and started to abuse Pastor Nitin Atkur and the Christians present in filthy language. She left the place immediately thereafter. A little while later, an attendant informed the Pastor that someone has been pelting stones at the Church hall. Leaning out of the window, “I saw that a man was standing on the street and he immediately threw a cement stone towards the window where I stood. It hit the window and broke the glass pane into pieces,” said Pastor Atkur to EFI. He has not registered any complaint in the police station as of yet.
In another incident on October 8, Hindu extremists trespassed into a private residence at Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, and attacked the Christians present there. Pastor Richard Benjamin of Emmanuel Church had just finished conducting a prayer service in the house of Rajendra Kumar when the incident took place. About 50 people were in attendance during the prayer service. Suddenly a group of 8-10 Hindu extremists carrying wooden sticks barged in and started to abuse the Christians using the filthiest of language. The extremists started beating the Christians present and especially targeted the Pastor and his wife, but the people present formed a human circle around them to protect them. This resulted in a lot of Christians getting hurt. The assaulters had themselves informed the police prior to attacking the meeting, so the police reached Kumar’s house, “not to rescue us but to arrest us,” said Benjamin. Six Christians including Benjamin and his wife were taken by the police to the Inayatnagar Police station on charges of conversion. There the police withheld them till about midnight, interrogating them before letting them go.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2016 on page no. 15

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