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Attack on Christians in Faridabad, Haryana.

By ICC’s Foreign Correspondent

3/20/3015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern)-The funeral procession of a deceased Christian went horribly wrong on March 6, 2015. A group of Christians were beaten up by the villagers of Pali, situated on the outskirts of Delhi, for attempting to bury the dead body of a Christian woman in the cemetery that was allotted to them by the government.

Rev. Victor Dass, a local Christian leader from Faridabad Eleshaddai Fellowship, a Pentecostal Church in Ballabhgarh, Faridabad, recounts that the church and the family of the woman who died were processing towards a Christian cemetery when they were stopped by a group of villagers. The cemetary, in Pali village, was allotted by the HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority).  However, despite their right to bury their loved ones, the villagers told the Christians that they shouldn’t bury the dead body there because it would “pollute” the village.

The villagers, believed to be anti-Christian activists, then beat up the Christians who were taking part in the procession carrying the dead body. The Christians were forced to flee, leaving the coffin on the road, in order to escape the assault. The mob, shouting anti-Christian slogans, told the Christians that this was part of the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campagin, started recently by Prime Minister Modi.

A Christian leader, who chose to remain anonymous, told ICC that, “the cleanliness (Swachh Bharat) is not aimed at keeping the spaces clean, but it is [a] drive meant [for] religious cleansing.” He added, “This is very unfortunate that the government sends such messages, which leave minorities vulnerable and [in] unsafe situations.”

Pastor Maipal Singh, in charge of Eleshaddai Fellowship, took the body to different cemetery that had little place for burying a dead body, but somehow the Christian managed to find a plot. Later, the pastors and Christians of the area went to the District Collector (DC) to complain about incident. However, the DC directed the police to file report and do the investigation on the case. The local Christian claim this was an empty directive, meant to keep the peace for the moment. They believe it is very unlikely anything will happen with regards to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Pray for the Christians enduring constant threats from the right wing Hindu nationalists’ organizations as this has been the everyday reality for many Christians throughout India.