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Pastor dragged, beaten by 150-strong mob while praying for sick

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In one of the eight attacks on Christians since the COVID-19 lockdown was partially lifted in India two weeks ago, a mob of about 150 people in the southern state of Telangana dragged a pastor into the street and beat him while he was praying for a sick person.

“They kicked me like they would kick a football,” Pastor Suresh Rao, a church planter, told the U.S.-based Christian persecution watchdog International Christian Concern about the attack on him in Kolonguda village last Sunday.

“They dragged me into the street and pushed me to the ground,” Rao added. “There, they started to trample on me. They tore my clothes, kicked me all over my body, and punched my left eye. I have sustained a serious eye injury as a result of a blood clot.”

Local Christians told ICC that Rao arrived at the sick person’s house around 9:30 a.m. for prayer. Soon after that, the house was surrounded by a mob of nearly 150 people led by a man identified as Ashok.

The attackers accused Rao of illegally converting Hindus to Christianity. “They said that India is a Hindu nation, and there is no place for Christians,” Rao explained. “I am prepared for this kind of eventuality. I know the cost of serving Jesus in these remote villages, and I will continue to serve the people of this region.”

ICC said it has recorded at least eight separate attacks on Christians in two weeks following the partial lifting of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

On June 11, a group of unidentified people burned down the building of an independent evangelical congregation of about 100 Christians, Real Peace Church, in Vaylur village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

“I was so distressed and pained in my heart,” Pastor Ramesh, the church’s head pastor, was quoted as saying. “It was hard labor for 10 years to build the church. All the hard work and sacrificial donations from the poor congregants were brought down to the ground. All that is left is ash.”

The Hindu nationalist government of the northern state of Haryana recently pledged to enact a law to regulate religious conversions that would lead to the arrest of Christians who share their faith, talk about Heaven or Hell, or perform charity work for lower caste Hindus.

The draconian “anti-conversion” laws, termed as Freedom of Religion Acts, presume that Christian workers “force” or give financial benefits to Hindus to convert them to Christianity.

While these laws have been in place for decades in some states, no Christian has been convicted of “forcibly” converting anyone to Christianity. However, these laws allow Hindu nationalist groups to make false charges against Christians and launch attacks on them under the pretext of the alleged forced conversion.

Attacks on the minority Christian community in India continued even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In the east-central state of Chhattisgarh, villagers had banned Christians from burying their dead until they paid fines for not taking part in Hindu festivals and rituals.

The Christians were told to make “restitution” for not partaking in or giving donations for religious rituals in those villages for all the years gone by, and pay an additional fine before their dead would be allowed to be buried.

United Christian Forum in India, a Christian organization that advocates on behalf of Christians in India, documented 56 threats against Christians as well as 78 incidents of violence between January and March of 2020.

In most cases, the attacks were perpetrated by mobs objecting to Christians holding worship services.

India is ranked at No. 10 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List of countries where it’s most difficult to be a Christian. The organization says that Christians in the country face “horrific” levels of violence from extremists, with thousands of attacks taking place every year.

Incidents targeting Indian Christians have risen steeply since 2014, when Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, according to Open Doors, which noted that at least one Christian was attacked every day last year.
Sources: Christian Post

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Another Pakistani Christian Girl Becomes Victim of Forced Conversion and Forced Marriage

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Pakistan– Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, is the latest victim in the pattern of the kidnapping, forced conversion, and forced marriage of young Christian girls in the country. This case prompted demonstrations against these grave injustices in an attempt to give a voice to the suppressed religious minorities of Pakistan. With these kidnappings taking place now more regularly than before, the religious minorities have been pushed to increasing extremes of discrimination.

Arzoo, from the city of Karachi located in the southern part of Pakistan in the province of Sindh, was abducted by her next door neighbor, Mr. Azhar Ali, taken against her will, forcefully converted to Islam, and married to the 44-old kidnapper. Her parents filed an official report with the police department and immediately began pursuing legal action on behalf of their daughter, which resulted in the most recent decision of the high court favoring the 44-year-old kidnapper and upholding the marriage. Although the case filed by the parents was pending in district court, where the abductor refused to disclose the whereabouts of Arzoo, Mr. Ali filed the complaint in High Court for protection on behalf of Arzoo. The judge did not provide a fair opportunity to the plaintiffs, which was a direct violation of Article 10-A of the prevailing state constitutions and issued a one-sided decision without examining the government, school, or church documents clearly starting that the girl was a minor of the age of 13. Moreover, the parents and the lawyers were unable to present their case before the issuance of the said court order. The pending jurisdiction of the lower court and orders for Arzoo to be produced in court were ignored by the high court. Instead of producing her in lower court, Mr. Ali presented Arzoo at the higher court, which was an openly disrespectful and deceiving maneuver by the abductors. Such a strategy is quite indicative of a complicity within the police and the system in regards to this case.

As codified in the Sindh Child Marriages Restrained Act of 2013, the province of Sindh has prohibited child marriage and restricted the age of consent to 18 years of age. Even though documents produced by Arzoo’s family clearly proved her to be 13, the judge refused to review this evidence. Instead, the judge of the high court sided with the falsified documents presented by the kidnappers.

The case sparked demonstrations in the region protesting this pattern of injustice. Forced kidnappings and forced conversions have become commonplace in Pakistan and remain a consistent point of fear for the girls in the religious minority communities.

Dr. Sabir Michael, a Karachi-based academic, Human Rights defender, and participant organizer of these demonstrations said, “It is the second reported case of abduction, forced conversion, and marriage of the minor Christian girl in Karachi in recent months, which has increased a sense of fear and insecurity in the Christian community at large. Apparently, it seemed that the policy and administrations of the court, as well as the city and state institutions, stood with Azhar Ali, the abductor of the minor girl. Her mother was not allowed to meet her in separation, which further seeded mistrust and outrage against the state institutions among the plaintiffs, human rights defenders, and the Christian and minority community.”

Since Mr. Ali’s two brothers are the employees of the Sindh police, Dr. Michael severely doubted the effectiveness of the police in this case. “A fair trial should be provided, giving the strongest considerations to her status as a minor. Additionally, her medical examination should be conducted independently and she should be placed in the custody of the relevant child protection unit of the Sindh government. Even better, she should preferably be placed in the protection home for the girls and women under the supervision of Justice Majida Rizvi, a chairperson of the Sindh Human Rights Commission.”

The international community must speak up on behalf of the oppressed in Pakistan and demand justice for these innocent girls and their families.
Sources:persecution

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വാഷിംഗ്‌ടൺ യുണൈറ്റഡ് ക്രിസ്ത്യൻ സ്കൂൾ സ്ഥാപകൻ എബ്രഹാം തോമസ് മോസസ്(78) നിര്യാതനായി.

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വാഷിംഗ്ടൺ : എരുമേലി മുട്ടപ്പള്ളി മുക്കൂട്ടുതറ ഇടപ്പള്ളിൽ ഏബ്രഹാം തോമസ് മോസസ് (78) വാഷിംഗ്ടണിൽ അന്തരിച്ചു.എറണാകുളം മഹാരാജാസ് കോളേജ്, തേവര കോളേജ് എന്നിവിടങ്ങളിൽ നിന്ന് പഠനം പൂർത്തീകരിച്ചു ഉപരിപഠനത്തിനായി 1969 ൽ അമേരിക്കയിൽ എത്തിച്ചേർന്നു. പിന്നീട് ഗവൺമെൻറ് ജോലി ലഭിച്ചുവെങ്കിലും സുവിശേഷികരണത്തിൽ അതീവതല്പരനായിരുന്ന താൻ പല രാജ്യങ്ങളിലും പോയി സുവിശേഷം അറിയിച്ചിരുന്നു. പിന്നീട് വാഷിംഗ്ടൺ യുണൈറ്റഡ് ക്രിസ്ത്യൻ അക്കാഡമി ( WUCA) എന്ന സ്കൂൾ സ്ഥാപിച്ചു. ആ സ്ക്കൂളിൽ പരേതൻ 45 വർഷത്തോളം പ്രിൻസിപ്പാൾ ആയി സേവനം ചെയ്തിരുന്നു.

ഭാര്യ: സാറാമ്മ മോസസ് തിരുവനന്തപുരം കവടിയാർ തോണിക്കല്ലിൽ കുടുംബാംഗം.
മക്കൾ: സിസ്റ്റർ എലിസബത്ത് മോസസ് ( ന്യൂ ടേസ്റ്റമെന്റ് ചർച്ച്, ഡൊമിനിക്കൻ റിപ്പബ്ലിക് സഭാ ശുശ്രൂഷക), ബെക്കി മോസസ്, പോൾ മോസസ്, ഫ്രെഡി മോസസ് ( മൂവരും യു.എസ്)

മരുമക്കൾ: ബ്ലോസം പോൾ, നവോമി ഗ്രാൻ്റോസ്.
മെമ്മോറിയൽ സർവീസ് വരുന്ന വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച വൈകിട്ട് 7.00 മണിക്കും ഫ്യൂണറൽ സർവീസ് ശനിയാഴ്ച രാവിലെ 10.30 നും നടത്തി സംസ്കാരം നടത്തും.
Address: New Testament church, 400 Butternut st. NW, Washington, DC 20012

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Another Pakistani Christian Girl Becomes Victim of Forced Conversion and Forced Marriage

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