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Important Rallies against Persecution Held in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

Evangelical Fellowship of India (10/18/06) – A large rally has been organized today, October 18, to protest against the persecution of Christians in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh. Hundreds of people are expected to attend, including Christians, Dalits and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Please pray for the leaders of the rally, Mr Sunil Sardar and Mr Sukhlal Kushwaha. Pray that the rally will be carried out without much controversy and in a peaceful manner.

On September 10, 2006, EFI News reported about the arrest of four Christians in Bharghat village in the Seoni District of Madhya Pradesh. These Christians were later granted bail. However, one of the accused, Pastor Jonathan Haroon, who was also meant to lead the rally in Seoni today, was accused again on fresh charges of conversion. Unfortunately, because the judge presiding over this case is on leave, Haroon is still awaiting bail.

Madhya Pradesh (MP) has seen numerous atrocities against Christians and Dalits this year. The state government in July 2006 passed an amendment to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1968, making the anti-conversion law even more stringent. There have been more than twenty cases filed against evangelists/pastors in MP this year alone.

On a different note, in protest to the stringent anti-conversion laws in different states of India , hundreds of Hindu Dalits converted to Christianity on the World Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Religion Day on October 14 in Nagpur , Maharashtra .

The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) is a national alliance of evangelical Christians and is a central network of evangelicals in India . It exists to empower and mobilize the local churches, church related institutions and individual Christians for effective witness for Christ.