India: Extremists attacked Pentecostal and SDA Churches and orphanage


Bangalore (India), SVM News, August 21, 2007: A group of 50 people attacked a church at Jakkur, a northern suburb of Bangalore city, where 30 people were worshipping and beat a few people on 19th August, 2007. This incident took place on 11-30 a.m as the members of Indian Pentecostal Church of God (IPC) church at Yelahanka near Jakkur, were having worship service on Sunday. Pastor Thomas Koshy, 36, is ministering in this church alongwith his wife Elsy, daughter Tincy and son Jesson since 2004. The attackers forcibly entered inside the church hall and locked up the doors and windows. Then started beating the believers. When some of the church members were injured, the attackers themselves opened the doors and chased the believers out from the hall asking them to get rid off the house before it is being burnt. The church members came out from the hall, praising Jesus for strengthening them in the midst of persecution and gathered again in a neighboring house for prayers. The extremists immediately rushed and chased everybody from there too. "On Saturday these attackers had warned us not to conduct worship service today ( Sunday). Even a week before these people had attacked our meeting and nothing extreme took place. But this time they made it severe." Pastor Thomas Koshy told the Salem Voice Ministries (SVM) News Service. James Verghese, a freelance journalist reported to the SVM News that a member of the church lodged a complaint against these miscreants and requested police to take action to arrest them. During the press time, The miscreants were waiting for the Pastor to come to the spot to beat him up. The House owner of the room, where the usual worship service was held, has asked the pastor to vacate his room at the earliest. James Verhese said. Jakkur IPC is the branch of Indian Pentecostal Church of God in India. It has a gathering of 50 people where people from different language groups namely, Keralites, Tamilians and Kannada attend. CHURCH STONED There was a church stoned in Karnataka on 15th of August. A gang of about 15 extremists pelted stones at the Calwary Church in Ganeshpur in Belgaum breaking glasses of all the windows and asbestoes sheets of the church roof. Pastor Sajan Philip is ministering here. Camp police registered a case regarding this incident. SDA CHURCH ATTACKED AND PASTORS ARRESTED Around a dozen of Seventh Day Adventist pastors were attacked in Sira, the place in between Tumkur and Chitradurga on 5th of August by a mob of 50 hindu radicals during the dedication of new church. And on 16th of August those pastors were arrested and taken to the Magistrate Court by Sira police, alleged forcible conversion and sent them to the judicial custody in Chitradurga jail. ORPHANAGE ATTACKED IN KERALA There was an another attack to a christian orphanage at Kooliyodu near Elappulli in Palakkad district in Kerala State on 17th of August. Pastor Sam Thomas and Mathew of the Chosen Generation Ministries were severely beaten and admitted to the Palakkad district hospital. Sam Thomas is working as the warden of the orphanage run by the ministries. Mathew is working as a cook of the orphanage. Members of the Chosen Generation Ministries filed a complaint to the Kasaba police. They have registered a case against a neighbor named Jyoti of 33 years of old. Pastor Paul Ciniraj, president of the Christian Ministers of the Churches of India (CMCI) condemned the attack towards IPC Church at Jakkur in Bangalore, Calwary Church at Ganeshpur in Belgaum, SDA Church and pastors in Sira and the orphanage run by Chosen Generation Ministries at Kooliyodu in Palakkad in Kerala. "Attack towards christians, dalits and other minorities being increase widely thoughout India. Priests, pastors, missionaries, evangelists and believers murdered, beaten, abducted and jailed. Women are being raped. Churches and institutions stoned, vandalized and demolished. The authorities and the police joining hand in hand in many places with the attackers," Pastor Paul Ciniraj said. "Where we have to go for the justice? Don`t we have right to live here? We request the urgent attention of UN Human Right Commission regarding dalit and christian persecution and other minorities," Ciniraj continued.

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