Members of an Assembly of God church were attacked on October 27 by a mob of radical Hindus. According to reports, the attackers disrupted a prayer service and severely beat the pastor leading the prayer. After beating the pastor, the radicals dragged him to a police station and attempted to file a case against the pastor for forcefully converting Hindus to Christianity. Because this church as been attacked in the past, the police recognized this as an incident of persecution and arrested the radicals. In the future, the police will keep several security guards outside the church during Sunday worship to avoid this incident happening again.
10/29/2013 India (ICAN) – The CSF has taken strong exception to the attack on a Christian Faith Centre (Assembly of God) Sunday worship conducted at Kalwa, by Bajrang Dal fundamentalists at around 11.30 am. According to the pastors and believers who contacted The CSF, pastor Ajay Kasbe was officiating at the prayer service being held at Bhaskar Nagar in Kalwa East of Thane district in Maharashtra, when the goons attacked the gathering. The CSF and community leaders contacted the police, who were forced to act and arrested five Bajrang Dal sympathizers.
Earlier at the same prayer hall, Pastor Arul Raj, who has been conducting prayer services was severely beaten on 6th October 2013 and dragged to the police station on false complaints. After The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias and others complained to the police, though initially reluctant, Sunday prayer service for the next two Sundays was held under police protection. Pastor Kasbe said, “They attacked us, accusing us of illegal conversions. They punched and kicked us and forcibly took me to the police station, while the congregation of about a hundred followed.”
On Sunday morning (27th October), seeing police presence as good as non-existent, a mob of around 40 Bajrang Dal fundamentalists attacked the believers, while prayer service was on and mercilessly beat the pastor Kasbe, who was deputed by senior AG pastor Sunil Mantode and at least four church workers – Rajesh Vishwakarma, Ajay Vishwakarma, Shambhunath Yadav and Gulab Vishwakarma. Once again, the Bajrang Dal anti-social elements took the believers to the Kalwa Police Station, where they were insisting on a false case of conversions to be filed. However, the community leaders had already kept the police briefed of the persecution. The CSF had also earlier kept the Deputy Commissioner of Police informed and the police were compelled to register an FIR and 5 Bajrang Dal men were arrested.