Hindu mobs in Chhattisgarh have disrupted a prayer service and threatened two Christian pastors in the space of three days for alleged religious conversion.
In the first incident on July 4, Pastor Firoz Bagh was conducting a prayer service at his house in Raipur, the state capital, when a Hindu mob surrounded the house and started shouting anti-Christian slogans, The Union of Catholic Asian News agency reported.
Police took the pastor into custody but released him after a few hours after the intervention of church leaders.
In the second incident, Wednesday, Pastor Ramesh Manikpur of Sarora Gogaon was resting at his house in the evening when a Hindu group wrote a slogan hailing Hindu gods on his boundary wall.
“They accused me of religious conversion and even slapped my son. They were around 100 and passing through our lane in a religious procession,” Pastor Manikpur told the news agency.
Pastor Moses Logan, president of the Chhattisgarh State Christian Welfare Society said that they had faced similar situations in the state but things were brought under control after the intervention of the administration.
“I spoke with Pastor Bagh and he said he has to visit the police station every other day for the investigation. He is very much worried for his family and his faithful. I hope the investigation is over soon,” Logan said.
After police took Pastor Bagh to the police station, a mob even surrounded the police station and started shouting anti-Christian slogans and accusing him of forced conversions.
He went on to say: “It is matter of concern and worry for us as some fanatic group members take us for granted and don’t even hesitate to harass and attack us in the name of religious conversion, which is not true.”
Pastor Bagh told Asia News that he has been in the ministry for 20 years with the St. Thomas Evangelical Mission, a registered organisation.
“I have preached for the last two decades in a rented room and just two years ago I bought this house. Several local people come here for prayer services as it is open to all without any discrimination,” he said.