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ICC Note:

A Christian prayer meeting attended by U.S. tourists was forcefully stopped by Hindu nationalists who claimed forceful conversions were taking place. According to reports, police have found that no conversions were taking place at the meeting and the Hindu nationalists were using the accusation to forcefully stop any Christian services in the area. Attacks like this continue to spread in India where religious intolerance continues to soar. 

04/10/2017 India (Christian Post) – A Christian prayer meeting, which was being attended by over 150 people and 11 American tourists, was stopped by police after a Hindu nationalist group, which was started by the new chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, lodged a complaint alleging it was aimed at conversions to Christianity.

Hindu Yuva Vahini, a rightwing youth organization known for arson and violence on minorities, filed a police complaint against Pastor Yohannan Adam of an independent church in the Dathauli area of Maharajganj district in Uttar Pradesh, claiming that Hindus were being forcibly converted, the Indian newspaper Hindustan Times reported.

“No prior permission was taken before the meeting. We stopped the meet after a complaint was registered. A probe is underway and appropriate action will be taken if the charges are correct,” a police officer, Anand Kumar Gupta, was quoted as saying.

Speaking to the newspaper, Krishna Nandan, a leader of the Hindu group, said, “The presence of U.S. nationals indicates that innocent and illiterate Hindus were being converted by the missionaries, who lured them with money to change their religion.”

The U.S. tourists, however, had required documents and visas and were allowed to go. Police also confirmed no conversions were sought at the meeting Friday.

“We did not file any complaint as we found no such activity happening there,” Gupta told The New York Times.

“We were all shocked,” Dev Raj, a Christian and a friend of the tourists, was quoted as saying. “My friends said: ‘Is this what normally happens in India? That you visit a church and are mobbed by a group of men?'”

Adityanath assumed office of Uttar Pradesh state’s chief minister last month after the victory of the BJP in that state.

Attacks on the Christian minority have increased across India since the Hindu national Bharatiya Janata Party won the national election in 2014.

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