By Santosh Digal, BosNewsLife Asia Correspondent reporting from India

There has been concerns over Hindu extremism in India.

BANGALORE INDIA (BosNewsLife)– Pastors and other Christian workers in two states of India were preparing Saturday, April 7, to celebrate Easter despite pressure from violent police and Hindu militants to halt their activities, church representatives said.

In the central state of Madhya Pradesh there was concern over the whereabouts of two pastors and two fellow house church members after “Hindu extremists” from the Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) reportedly raided a worship service on March 25 in the area of Chinchgaon in Chhindwara district.

Pastor Harichand Varti, who “received serious injuries on his back and suffered a deep cut on his hand”, was ordered to halt the service and taken to a nearby police station along with two other worshippers, Santaram Parteti and Mayram Padam, said a local pastor, Akhilesh Edg.

Soon after Senior Pastor Rajkumar, who apparently uses only one name, rushed to the police station “to file a complaint against the extremists” and try to free the believers, Edg added.

When Rajkumar arrived at the ‘Bichwa Block’ police station he and the other three Christians were detained however, he said.


They were reportedly charged with “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.”

A local court rejected their appeal for bail and sent them to the district jail pending further investigations, Christians said. It was not immediately clear Saturday, April 7, when and if they would be able to celebrate Easter at home.

Around 100 Christians including pastors and church leaders have petitioned police to free the believers, BosNewsLife learned.

Elsewhere in India’s southwestern state of Karnataka police also detained a pastor and three church members after RSS militants “beat them up and filed a complaint against them of forceful conversion” in the town of Gadag, church representatives said.

Pastor Mallikarjun and four church members were attacked March 28 while distributing Gospel tracts to some people, according to Christians with close knowledge about the situation.


The Hindu mob allegedly dragged the five Christians to the police station saying the believers “were forcibly trying to convert Hindus into Christianity.”

Four church members were reportedly released late in the night on March 28 following intervention by Christian leaders. However Pastor Mallikarjun was accused of involvement in “an unlawful assembly” among other charges, Christians said, adding that he was released “on bail” March 29, after local Christian leaders intervened.

No more details about the bail conditions and possible court appearance were immediately available.

Local authorities have also suppored Hindu attempts to dismiss devoted Christians from jobs, including in the Kanker area of Madya Pradesh where the state government initially appointed Shrimati Sambhai of the local evangelical Believers’ Church as a pre-school teacher.


However the village head, Dhanuram Behari, and community leader Hiralal Behari persuaded the state to revoke her appointment because of her Christian faith, Christians said. She filed a police complaint in Sarpanch Amodi on February 18, apparently to no avail.

Local officials were not available for comment, but local Christian leaders said they were supporting the woman to get back her

The reported incidents are the latest in a series of attacks and harassment of minority Christians by Hindu groups often in cooperation with local authorities in villages and towns, according to rights activists and local believers.

Christians comprise just over two percent of India’s 1.2 billion people, according to official estimates, but Hindu groups have expressed concerns over spreading Christianity in several areas of the nation.


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