Woman pastor stands strong against Hindu extremists
In a densely-populated Jalalabad – a village in the Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh – an entire village got together against a small Christian community in their midst. Hindu extremists attacked 20 Christian families including verbally abusing them and indecently assaulting the female pastor who leads them.
The villagers demanded that the Christians stop conducting prayer meetings and services in the village.
“The villagers had been harassing and threatening us for the past four days,” said Pastor Pushpa Kumar in an interview with Global Christian News today (2 May 2017).
“When Pushpa’s harassers saw that nothing is deterring her from her
Christian faith, they attacked her physically,” said Pastor Anil Andrias an independent church leader from a nearby village. He said the villagers had threatened to pull the pastor’s saree off and strip her.
“Three women safeguarded Pushpa, by standing in the way when the villagers approached Pushpa; these women were man-handled and thrown out of the way and Pushpa left with a stern warning to mend her ways,” added Andrias.
Pushpa approached the Dullahpur police station to make a complaint 29 April 2017.
The police personnel summoned both the parties to the police station and at the end of a meeting advised Pushpa to cease church meetings.
Pushpa told police: “This is not my caste conversion; It is my heart’s conversion!”
After Pushpa’s brave confrontational statements, the matter was brought to the notice of the Superintendent of Police, who visited Pushpa’s village today and strictly warned the villagers to allow the Christians to worship with freedom and reminded the villagers that they are free to follow the faith they choose to.
Pushpa was the first Christian in the entire village and started the Church in her home about three years ago.
“She was alone then, and now 20 families have started to believe,” revealed Andrias.
Global Christian News questioned Andrias as to why did the villagers never opposed Pushpa in the past as she has been running this Church for the past 3 years. Andrias responded, “This is a secret plan of the present government….on media, they proclaim peace but they have instructed their workers to enhance their work of troubling Christians, hindering their activities and stopping Sunday worships by instigating the peace-loving neighborhood to go to the extent of adopting violent means to stop the Christians.”
Pushpa told Global Christian News that she had severe health issues and then she heard about Jesus, how she was completely healed of her illness. She shared her experience and the gospel with the villagers. She opened up this Church and 20 families have undergone what she described as ‘heart conversion’.
This incident happened soon after a seven-member delegation comprising of Archbishop and Bishops from the Catholic Churches met with the newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath. They shared with him their fear of the rising incidents of violence against the minority Christian community in the biggest Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Chief Minister had assured church leaders that there would be justice against law breakers. He asked them to continue their services to the poor and the needy in various fields, including education, and practice their faith without fear.
The last incident reported by Global Christian News, was on Palm Sunday in which a pastor, Krishna Paul was beaten up by a local mob at village Jahanpur, which is 6 kilometers from village Jalalabad in Ghazipur.
According to the Population Census of 2011, , Jalalabad has a total of 2636 families residing, with a population of 19201 of which 9845 are males while 9356 are females.