Christian group asks protection of threatened Christians in Chhattisgarh

Published 21 July 2014  |  
A Christian group has written to Chief Secretary, the government of Chhatisgarh in Raipur to "intervene" and "provide relief and protection" to Christians who have been threatened not to hold worship and to leave their respective villages or face the consequences.

Rev. Vijayesh Lal, National Director of Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India in his letter dated 15th July to Mr. Vivek Dhand, Chief Secretary, Government of Chattisgarh, Raipur has highlighted the threats given to Christians in Bastar region of the state and has requested the immediate intervention of the Chief Secretary.

"I would like to bring it to your notice that according to reports that I have received yesterday evening, groups motivated by and containing members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad office based in Jagdalpur are going around in villages threatening Christians to leave the village by next Sunday or suffer the consequences thereof," the letter stated.

"These groups threatening Christians targeted at least two villages namely Gadiya and Parapur. There is also a report from Belar about a similar happening."

The letter also stated, "Christians have been threatened not to worship in these villages and in Gadiya and Parapur, to leave the village entirely or suffer the consequences. I am afraid that if timely protection and intervention is not provided there is an apprehension of anti-minority violence."

Besides, the letter also stated, "There is also a report received from Kue Mari near Keshkal where a house belonging to a Christian was set on fire. Mr. Antu Ram was told to leave the area or pay a fine of 2000 rupees, which he did and even after that his house was burnt down. Today he is living under a plastic sheet with his family that includes three children and his elderly parents."

"I humbly request you to please intervene in his situation and provide him some relief and protection," the letter concluded.

The situation comes in the midsts of 50 villages banning non-Hindu missionaries to stop working in the region after an aggressive campaign launched by Hindu nationalist organization - Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Some Christian villagers also have been denied ration.

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