INDIA: RSS ATTACK MEETING
Earlier this year, a Christian leaders' gathering at a church in Uttar Pradesh, India was halted when an angry mob from Hindu political organizations Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal tried to attack.
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The intent of the assembly, hosted by a VOM partner Pastor "Sahib," was to distribute Village Outreach Packs to church leaders. The materials in the packs included a Bible, a drum, a Bluetooth speaker system with an SD card holding an audio Bible, bags and a JESUS DVD.
About 100 leaders from seven nearby districts attended the meeting to fellowship with other leaders, share what God is doing in their areas and obtain materials to help them evangelize and teach.
After several of the leaders shared a message and told how God has been working in their churches and areas, they were about to distribute the resources when they heard a commotion outside.
"All [of the] sudden we heard that a mob is shouting outside of the church boundary," a VOM partner said.
"They were chanting 'Jai shree Ram' over and over because Rama is one of the main Hindu gods and they believe all Indians should worship him. The mob was also shouting, 'Stop conversion!' as they were trying to enter the church."
While Uttar Pradesh does not have laws against religious conversion like some other Indian states, Hindu radicals in the region continue to try to prevent any Christian or evangelistic activity. Uttar Pradesh is considered the heart of Hinduism for India, and activists want to maintain the state's Hindu identity.
"We were very shocked, sitting inside thinking and praying how to respond to the situation," the VOM partner said.
Soon, the police arrived along with the media.
Outside, the leaders spoke with police. The police asked if they were gathering to force Hindus to convert to Christianity.
"Once the police were assured there was no such conversion taking place, they let everyone go back," the VOM partner said.
The VOM partners arrived home safely after the incident. Our partners face pressure like this every day, as Hindu radicals use physical abuses, false accusations and public disruptions to try to stop the spread of Christianity in India.