On Sunday 2 December, the day the Church celebrated the first Sunday of Advent, in Uttar Pradesh about 150 Hindu fanatics attacked a church and interrupted the prayer with the complicity of the local police. Then they launched an ultimatum to the faithful: either they close the place of Christian worship, or “they will suffer severe consequences.”
Shibu Thomas, founder of Persecution Relief that defends discriminated Christians in India, denounces to AsiaNews: “The police, which should be ‘guardian of the law,’ does not perform its duties and takes a position influenced by pre-judices and bigotry against the Christian minority.”
The attached church is located in Naubasta, in the district of Kanpur. The activist says that the radicals arrived waving orange flags (the colour of Hindu nationalists), singing praises to the god Ram and shouting slogans against Christians. “They sowed fear and terror in the community,” he adds.
Some women in the church have requested police intervention, “believing that they could reason with the fanatics, since it was evident that they were acting out of ignorance.” But the agents imposed the interruption of prayer and asked Christians to leave. Then they also dispersed the troublemakers who, regardless of the presence of the police, threatened to return later.
Rev. Jeetender Singh, in charge of the New India Church of God, tells the Christian network that two days before the incident, the local police inspector had visited the church. On that occasion he informed Pastor A.B. Singh who had been charged with a complaint against him for alleged “forced conversions.” After the attack by the radicals, he reports, the inspector himself refused to collect the complaint of the Christians.