Hindu nationalists force Pastor into hiding; “Please Pray”

Monday, September 6, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Having refused to renounce his faith in Christ, a pastor in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was forced into hiding after a mob of 100 Hindu nationalists accused him of forcibly converting people to Christianity, International Christian Concern reports.

Persecution against Christians in India has intensified since the Hindu national Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014; India now ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

Pastor Shyamanand had been summoned to a meeting at his village and found that 100 Hindu nationalists from three villages had gathered against him. asked to report to his village meeting in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, ICC reports. The mob ordered him to close down his church and to undergo a purification ritual to reconvert to Hinduism.

In an interview with ICC, Pastor Shyamanand said he had known that neighbors in his own and adjacent villages were opposed to his faith and his preaching the Gospel. “I knew the trouble brewing against me, I told the village head in front of the mob, I am not going to leave Jesus and my faith, even if it costs me my life.”

The mob became enraged at his refusal to renounce his faith and Pastor Shyamanand felt it necessary to leave his home. “Nothing was favorable to me in that situation, and I thought running away is the only option to avoid jail, so I was away for 18 days from my home and my family, ” the pastor told ICC. He subsequently returned upon advice from Christian leaders and handed himself in to the local police station.

“I have been getting threatening calls ever since I was cleared at the police station,” Shyamanand told ICC. “People demanding me either to convert back to the Hindu religion or leave the village. The three worship services I used to conduct are being closed down… I do not know how to move forward with this kind of situation, please pray for me.”