Police, Hindu Radicals Shut Church, Christmas Celebrations in Uttar Pradesh

Published 15 January 2018  |  
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Pastor David Amarnath.

A pastor in Bhadohi District, Uttar Pradesh, who was forced to halt his church's worship last month, is now deprived of his fundamental rights. Despite going to the police with some 50 Christians to help plead for his rights, he was denied and chased out of the station.

The 45-year-old Pr David Amarnath of Pathakpur village was taken aback by what police told him.

"The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government is ruling now, and you can't assemble to pray," police told Amarnath, according to Morning Star News.

"The local Hindu Vahini activists and all RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] groups are now informed of your activities – they will be after you. Even we can't help you," he added.

Upon insisting the police and reminding them the fundamental right to freedom of worship in the Indian constitution, the situation became worse.

"I will cut your other leg off. Your life will become hell. So refrain from all Christian activities," police official M.K. Pandey told Amarnath, who has only one complete leg and requires a wheelchair.

The church with a congregation of 200 people was shut on Dec. 11. Since then, there has been no service for the last three weeks including Christmas and New Year.

"We have not gathered as a church for Sunday worship for three weeks till date," said Amit Jaiswar, a member of the church.

"We did not celebrate Christmas and could not observe watch night service for New Year's Eve. Our pastor is under observation by RSS activists," he added.

Amarnath said seven police officers were deployed in front of his house on Dec. 25 to ensure that he led no house church worship.

"They told me to lead life quietly and not become the target of Hindu extremists," he said.

"I shared the gospel with them. I told them about the importance for fellowship, and the love we share. My children distributed pieces of cake to the police and neighbors. That was our Christmas!"

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