15th July 2014
Mr. Vivek Dhand
Government of Chhattisgarh
Greetings from the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI)! The EFI is the representative body and voice of more than 50,000 member Churches across the nation.
At the onset I would like to thank you for your kind hospitality and time given to listen to our concerns last Friday and for the assurances given to intervene in this very tense situation in Bastar regarding the plight of the Christian minority.
I would like to bring it to your notice that according to reports that I have received yesterday evening, groups motivated by and containing members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad office based in Jagdalpur are going around in villages threatening Christians to leave the village by next Sunday or suffer the consequences thereof. These groups threatening Christians targeted at least two villages namely Gadiya and Parapur. There is also a report from Belar about a similar happening.
Christians have been threatened not to worship in these villages and in Gadiya and Parapur, to leave the village entirely or suffer the consequences. I am afraid that if timely protection and intervention is not provided there is an apprehension of anti-minority violence.
There is also a report received from Kue Mari near Keshkal where a house belonging to a Christian was set on fire. Mr. Antu Ram was told to leave the area or pay a fine of 2000 rupees, which he did and even after that his house was burnt down. Today he is living under a plastic sheet with his family that includes three children and his elderly parents. I humbly request you to please intervene in his situation and provide him some relief and protection.
Once again I want to thank you for your openness and concern for the Christian minority community.
Thank you very much,
God bless you, and God bless India.
Rev. Vijayesh Lal
Religious Liberty Commission
Evangelical Fellowship of India