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Investigation

Read the story on Thewire.in New Delhi: Incidents of anti-Christian protests, ruckus, and misdemeanor perpetrated by rightwing Hindutva organizations were reported both on news outlets and across social media in the lead up to and on Christmas Day, across states. Uttar Pradesh 1. On Christmas eve, members reportedly belonging to the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and other rightwing groups set an effigy of Santa Claus on fire in the middle of a street in Agra while shouting “Santa Claus Murdabad”. According to a report in India Today, this was a protest against “using the ruse of Santa Claus during Christmas”. The main instigator appears to be one Ajju Chauhan, who reportedly said, “Santa [Claus] does not come bearing any gifts, his only goal is to convert the Hindus to Christianity. It’s not going to work anymore. Any attempt at conversion will not be allowed to succeed. If this is not stopped, then there will be agitations at missionary schools.” In 2015, Ajju Chauhan, whose real name is Avnindra Pratap Singh, and who was then a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, made headlines for organising a ‘ghar wapsi’ (return home) programme to convert ‘1,500 Muslim families’ to Hinduism. He was later reportedly sacked from the VHP

Read the story at SCROLL.IN Investigation: How VHP and Madhya Pradesh police colluded to put a Christian pastor in jail The pastor won a court stay on notices about religious conversion. A day later, he was arrested – based on a complaint by a man who denies making the statement. Ramesh Vasunia, a pastor from Padalva village in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district, has been in jail since December 5, charged with attempting forced religious conversions. His wife and four others have also been arrested on the same charges. The arrests were ostensibly based on a complaint against the pastor by Moga Vasunia, a resident of the same village. The first information report registered by the police states Moga Vasunia and four others had visited the prayer hall where Pastor Ramesh was conducting a service on December 5. There, the pastor allegedly sprayed holy water on Moga Vasunia. The FIR also claims that the pastor had promised the visitors Rs 1,000 each, a motorcycle and medical facilities if they converted to Christianity. But Moga Vasunia, the 70-year-old pandit of a Shiva temple in Padalva, now denies making those allegations. “This is wrong. I have never been sprayed with [holy] water or lured with a bike, nor

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FIACONA

Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations Pray for a Persecuted Church
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