INDIA – HINDU NATIONALISTS PLAN ‘RELIGIOUS CLEANSING’ IN MADHYA PRADESH DISTRICT

Compass Direct News – Hindu nationalist organizations in Madhya Pradesh state have declared their intentions to rid Mandla district of all Christian influence by starting preparations for a large “reconversion” event next year. A similar event in Dangs district, Gujarat state in 2006 was filled with Christian hate speech. As a result of anti-Christian sentiment stirred at the April 22 ground-breaking ceremony for the Madhya Pradesh “reconversion” rally to be held next February, Hindu nationalists attacked a house church in the district’s Bamhni Banjar village on May 2, Christian leaders said. Hindu leaders reportedly announced a list of objectives to be achieved before the festival, with one prominent agenda item being to drive away Christian pastors, evangelists and foreign aid workers from the district. The leaders pledged to “cleanse Mandla of Christians” by means of the Feb. 10-12 event. A week after the ground-breaking ceremony, around 40 Hindu nationalists from the Bajrang Dal surrounded the home of Pastor Bhag Chand Rujhiya during a house church service and accused him of forceful conversion as they shouted anti-Christian slogans. Using abusive language, they pelted his house with stones as about 60 people were attending a worship service, Pastor Rakesh Dass said. “The mob was carrying deadly weapons like knives and rods,” he said. Police forced the pastor and his wife to sign statements that they would no longer lead Sunday worship or pray with friends or relatives inside their house, and that they would not evangelize again in the area.

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