Members of a church in India’s Tamil Nadu state are demanding police arrest members of a Hindu radical group that has attacked their church three times in the past five days. According the the church’s pastor, the radicals have disrupted services on May 3rd, 5th, and 7th. Each time, the church has been forced to call the police to sort out the matter, but none of the radicals have yet been arrested. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship by Hindu radicals have steadily increased since the rise of the BJP in 2014. Many claim radical Hindu groups have increased their activities against religious minorities in India due to the BJP government’s unwillingness to confront them. Will attacks, like those on the churchgoers in Tamil Nadu, continue to spread?
05/11/2017 India (The News Minute) – Members of a church in Coimbatore have threatened to return their ration cards if police did not take action against members of the Hindu Munnani Katchi. The churchgoers have accused the fringe group of attacking the church thrice in May.
On Wednesday, members of the ‘Assembly of God’ church in Arasur village filed a petition to the Superintendent of Police, demanding action. “On May 3, 2017, about 50 people from Hindu Munnani Katchi came to the church, harassed and abused the people in the church. There were about 30 people in the church. We had to call the police. Cops then sorted the matter,” said James Wellington, a senior pastor.
The priest alleges that the attack did not end with that incident. The petition to the SP says on May 4 Hindu Munnani Katchi members attacked the church and broke the roof and few lights inside.
“On May 7, these people again came and while the church was going on, they began abusing the people inside the church. The priest had to quickly stop the service and he called the DSP,” said James.
Members of the church and the pastor allege that they were made to forcefully sign a paper which said that that they could not conduct services until permission was granted by the collector.
Addressing the media, Jayaseelan, a member of the church said, “Such problems have been happening in various parts of Coimbatore during the last few months. In India, everyone has the right to follow their religion and allow us also to follow our religion. We want security to conduct our church services,” he said.