A Christian pastor and his associates were beaten up on Monday in Bihar’s western Champaran region over charges of them carrying out religious conversions. At the time of the incident, the pastor named Joseph and his associates were heading to the James St. Paul’s church in Bettiah to take part in a prayer ceremony.
While they were on a bus travelling to their destination, one of the co-passengers asked as to where they were heading. When the bus entered the city, the passenger started a commotion that they indulged in religious conversions. After they got down at the stop, they were greeted by dozens of bike-borne youths who surrounded them and starting an assault.
The police including the city’s station house officer later rushed to the spot after being notified of the incident and brought the situation under control. The aggressors though managed to run away but the police have lodged an FIR in this matter.
It’s not yet clear whether the accusations of religious conversions have any merit or whether it was merely used as a pretext to beat up the pastor and his followers.
Regardless of this incident, recent days have seen law enforcement authorities of acting against pastors allegedly carrying out forced religious conversions.
It was reported in December that the Madhya Pradesh police had arrested a Catholic priest and detained 40 others, over accusations of them forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity. The man who made the complaint alleged that he was converted to Christianity by being offered money. It was also alleged that one of the fathers present in the group also asked villagers to take holy dips in the pond and embrace Christianity.
It was also reported how the Mathura police had arrested 7 Christian preachers after they were accused of carrying out forced conversions in a UP village. These preachers were alleged to have distributed Bibles among the citizens and even allegedly started insulting other deities while praying at one of the villager’s house.
An Andhra couple too was arrested for attempting to convert Tribals to Christianity. Back then the police rescued nine kids aged below 14 years of age from the couple, who allegedly were teaching the kids about the Christian faith, under the guise of running an orphanage and old age home.