ASIA/INDIA - In a church in Uttar Pradesh Hindu extremists stop prayers

Monday, 10 April 2017 religious freedom   religious minorities   hinduism   violence  

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - “The interruption of prayers in a church is a despicable act which cannot go unpunished ”: Fides was told by Catholic John Dayal, Human Rights activist and secretary general of the All India Christian Council, commenting the irruption of a group of Hindu extremists into a Protestant church in Uttar Pradesh on 7 April. The assailants were members of a group called Yuva Vahin formed in 2002 by Hinduist leader Yogi Adityanath, today First Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh.
"Government must take the necessary measures and precautions to keep peace and order and ensure that Christian religious minorities are not vexed or threatened” said Dayal, who is also a member of the Indian government’s National Council for Integration.
According to the local police, the extremists stopped a prayer service attended by more than 150 people, including 11 American tourists, on the grounds that the event was a ceremony for religious conversion.
Yuva Vahin lodged a complaint against Yohannan Adam, Pastor of the church, situated in Maharajganj, where prayers were being said, accusing him of converting Hindus to Christianity. The police is said to be investigating the matter.
According to Hindu Krishna Nandan, a leading member of Yuva Vahini, "the presence of United States citizens indicates that many innocent and unaware Hindus were being converted by these missionaries, with promises of money for their conversion”. The local Christian leaders rejected any charge of conversion, as “totally ungrounded".
At the beginning of this year 2017 Yuva Vahini activists carried out a similar action in the Full Gospel Church at Gorakhpur, accusing the worshippers of proselytism . (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/4/2017)