Christian Gathering Disbanded by Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh

12/17/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – On November 11, a regular Christian gathering of nearly 600 people was shut down by police in Pure Pande Pululiki village, located in the Pratapgarh district of India’s Uttar Pradesh state. According to Pastor Rakesh Singh, the gathering was shut down after Hindu radicals falsely claimed he was converting Hindus to Christianity.

Pastor Singh, age 52, started preaching in Pure Pande Pululiki in 2013 and founded Vikas Jana Seva Sanstha. Since then, he has been leading worship there every Thursday and Sunday in a temporary tent on private land. According Pastor Singh, police came to Vikas Jana Seva Sanstha on November 11 during Sunday worship. They ordered him to stop the service and destroyed the tent. The police then took Pastor Singh to the police station.

All the believers are scattered and broken,” Pastor Singh told International Christian Concern (ICC). “For weeks I have not conducted worship. These believers are new in faith and now they do not have fellowship and opportunity to hear God’s word.”

The police threatened me and said they will put me in jail if I conduct worship,” Pastor Singh continued. “I need to get permission from the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to conduct prayers in that premises. When I went to the SDM, he told me that he will not give permission since I am converting Hindus Christianity.”

With Christmas around the corner, Pastor Singh fears police may send him to jail even if he goes to the station to try to get permission to lead a Christmas program. Pastor Amit Singh, another pastor from Pratapgarh district, said, “Christmas was celebrated with so much joy and more than 2,500 people would come for the celebration. I don’t think that this Christmas will be celebrated.”

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