01/08/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – On Sunday, January 5, a mob of radical Hindu nationalists attacked and disrupted a house church in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. According to local reports, the mob disrupted the Sunday worship service and made threats against the pastor and other Christians participating in the service. As a result, local police closed down the church.
According to Pastor Veerendra Kumar, head pastor of Viswavani Church in Kalwanakara village, 15 members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini group attacked the worship service at around 12 noon. Approximately 40 Christians were in attendance when the mob attacked.
“They asked me to come out of the church and started to use abusive language,” Pastor Kumar told International Christian Concern (ICC). “They threatened me and said they would break my hands and legs if I continued to lead prayers.”
According to Pastor Kumar, the radicals went on to accuse him of forcefully converting poor Hindus to Christianity by alluring them with benefits and physical wellness. This false accusation is often used by radicals to harass Christian leaders in India.
As the radicals continued to harass Pastor Kumar, local police arrived on the scene. These officers told Pastor Kumar that he needed official permission to run the church and shut the church down.
In December 2019, Viswavani Church constructed a new building that was intended to be used for church activities. During the construction, Pastor Kumar was threatened multiple times and told not to conduct Christian prayers in Kalwanakara.
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