Date: September 14, 2020
India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, a pastor in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was forced to sign an agreement to halt all worship services and to not share his Christian faith with anyone. This agreement was signed after local police told the pastor they would imprison his teenage son on framed criminal charges.
The incident started on August 25 when a group of intoxicated Hindus harassed Pastor Sugriv’s house church in Tarkulwa village. The intoxicated Hindus were confronted by Pastor Sugriv’s 19-year-old son because of their disparaging remarks, but the incident was peacefully resolved.
On August 26, the Hindus returned and again harassed the Christians with obscenities and disparaging remarks against Christianity. At this point, Pastor Sugriv decided the local police needed to be informed.
According to Morning Star News, two police officers came to Pastor Sugriv’s home on August 29 and asked for the pastor’s son to show them where the men harassing the church lived. However, after hours of waiting for his son’s return, Pastor Sugriv was informed that the police had taken his son into custody.
The police reportedly arrested Pastor Sugriv’s son after a Hindu falsely accused him of sexually harassing young women in the village. Pastor Sugriv pleaded with the police for hours, asking for his son to be released. The pastor’s son was released only after Pastor Sugriv agreed to sign a document vowing he would never practice his faith in his home and he would not talk about Christianity with anyone.
“The officers at Shyam Deurwa police station joined hands with the assailants and forced me to sign a document vowing that I would never conduct prayers in my home and that I would not share the Gospel with anyone,” Pastor Sugriv told Morning Star News. “I was forced to sign it. What kind of justice is this?”
Radical Hindu nationalists often use false criminal accusations to harass Christians or justify their own criminal activities. Accusations of forced or fraudulent religious conversions are the most commonly used accusation, even though no individual has been convicted of the change since anti-conversion laws were added to some of India’s state criminal codes in the late 1960’s.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for protection for this family against false accusations. Pray for their church to be able to gather again. Pray for those who filed false charges to be held accountable.