Prayer meeting disrupted in Delhi

Published 19 March 2012
On March 12, Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal attacked a prayer meeting in the heart of the national capital, Kalkaji, New Delhi threatening Christians of dire consequence if they regularly meet for prayer meetings in future.

According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India, Jagdish Dey from Apostolic Faith Church (AFC) was attacked while conducting a prayer meeting at the residence of a church member.

The meeting was attended by six women and few children. "Right after the final prayer was over, the extremists forcefully entered into the house, claiming to be of Bajrang Dal outfit, dragged Dey out on the street, where about 30 armed extremists awaited outside to beat him up. However, the Christian ladies came out, surrounded Dey and defended him," EFI said.

The extremists alerted the police who soon arrived on the spot and took Dey to the police station. On hearing the incident, area leaders of AFC, Pastor Bobby Chpellappan and Rev. Jobby Prasannan rushed to the police station.

By then, the extremists had brought in false allegations against the Christians claiming that they conducted prayer meetings to desecrate idols and make derogative remarks about their gods and goddess. In the meantime, about 50 extremists massed up at the police station, threatened to hurt the Christians and pressurized the police to take actions against them.

Under pressure, the police took in writing from Dey that he will stop conducting house prayer meetings in future.

Speaking to EFI, Rev. Chellappan said, "It was a false allegation against us. We do not talk about other people's religion nor teach people to talk ill against any other faith."
"Tension still prevails in the area and Christians are also being restricted from using the public water pump. About six Christian families reside in the area," he added.

"All these Christian families live on rent and the extremists are even compelling the landlords to chase the Christians out from their rented houses," says Rev. Jobby Prasannan.

As of latest, Delhi Minority Commission member A.C. Michael visited the Apostolic Faith Church and encouraged people assuring them that government will take necessary actions to protect the rights of Christians in the region.

Further as they visited the police station and talked to the SHO incharge, they came to know that police have not recorded any FIR so far. The matter is still pending for further investigation.

EFI has urged prayers for Rev Chellappan and the church members so they stand strong amidst persecutions.

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