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Pastor manhandled and threatened for life

Pastor manhandled and threatened for life, sister locked up and later

paraded around the village

Global Council of Indian Christians

2/26/07 India (Persecution Update India ) – On 25th February, 2007 a mob of 70-80 Hindu extremists supposedly belonging to the militant Hindu outfit Bajrang Dal surrounded the house of Pastor T.N.Jose at around 7 p.m. in Surgi village of Rajnandgaon district near the state capital of Raipur . The pastor was manhandled and threatened for life by this mob.

The mob threatened to cut him into pieces and kill him if he did not leave the village before Monday morning, that is, the 26th of February.

Accused the pastor of forcefully converting villagers and forcefully made him put his signature on a plain paper stating that the pastor had come to the village to convert and that he would go from the village of his own free will. The paper also stated that the pastor was not being forced by anyone to leave the village. Pastor T.N. Jose, who is fearing for his life, has taken shelter in his brother Pastor T M Babu’s house close to the village in Rajnandgaon town. Pastor T M Babu also runs a Bible School under the banner of Indian Christian Mission which is a registered trust. It must be noted here that the pastor’s sister, a doctor by profession who runs a clinic in Surgi village, was also threatened and locked up by the extremists for one whole day and also forcefully paraded around by some of the fundamentalists wherever they went during the day on Monday. The fundamentalists had forcefully kept her with them till

Monday evening declaring that they would not leave her until her brother was found out. However, she was released in the evening after which she ran through the jungle at night despite the lurking dangers, to reach an area housing a factory which served as a landmark for her brother to pick her up and take her to safety in their brother’s house. The clinic run by her also remains closed since Sunday evening in the wake of the threats received from the Hindu fanatics.

We were also told by Pastor Jose that he was informed by a believer who called him up from a village phone booth that many believers from the Church being pastored by him were interviewed by the Hindu fundamentalists working hand in glove with the local media to bring disrepute to His Church and the Christian villagers in the area. It was also reported that local media also took a video shoot of his sister’s clinic as well as statements of Christian villagers in the presence of the Hindu fundamentalists. About 20-25 villagers worship at the Indian Mission Church in Surgi village pastored by Pastor T.N.Jose. Jose has been serving in the area for the last four years. Pastor Jose also informed us that a Christian villager named Bhagwat had called him up just before we made a call to the pastor earlier in the evening, stating that some miscreants were beating up some Christians in the village. Incidentally, Bhagwat is not a part of the Church pastured by T N Jose. Meanwhile we are trying to get in touch with the administration at Rajnandgaon. The nearest police station to Surgi village lies at a distance of 13 kilometers from the village. Please pray for the the christians living under fear in Chhattisgrh state of India .