Indian Pastor jailed with a believer in Chhattisgarh

Friday, October 12, 2007

By James Varghese
Special to ASSIST News Service

KANKER, CHHATTISGARH, INDIA (ANS) -- A pastor and a church believer were jailed on Friday, October 5th, in a village called Murlar which is 20kms from Kanker District in Chhattisgarh State, India. (Kanker is about 140 kms from Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh).

This news was carried by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), on their website

According to GCIC story, Pastor Shynu Patel, aged 27, was holding a three day prayer and fasting gathering in a local person’s home from October 3-5. The name of the person who gave his house to be used for the prayer meeting was Shagundas (25), who is one of the brothers of a church member of Pastor Shynu’s Church.

On the last day – at around 4 pm - as their prayer and fasting meeting was progressing with about eight worshippers present, suddenly about 35 persons from several Hindu radical groups, got into the room and alleged that the pastor was “converting people” and they took him and Shagundas to the local village administration for an open trial. Not satisfied with the outcome, the hardliners then threw Shynu and Shagundas in a tractor and took them to the nearest Police Station at Keskal which was about 30 kms away from Kanker District.

Pastor Shynu Patel ministers independently and conducts his church service and other church related activities in a believer’s house church in the village and is married to Kalyani.

The attackers brought in some false witnesses to the police station who then testified that Pastor Shynu told a person (name not known) from that area to join him in the ministry work for Rs 1000 ($25.4388 USD) monthly remuneration to spread the Gospel and also leveled charges of criticizing their god and goddesses.

Then with all these false charges they lodged complaint and filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Pastor Shynu and Shagundas.