Pastor and believers attacked and arrested in India on Christmas
Dhamtari (Chattisgarh in India), SVM News, 25 December, 2006: Pastor James Ram and another 10 members of the Church of God were arrested on false charges of illegal conversion by Chattisgarh Police on 24th of December at Dhamatari, which is about 40 miles from Raipur, the capital city of Chattisgarh State in India.
A group of the BJP and the Bajrangdal accused false charges of illegal conversion against the pastor and the christian believers and wanted the police to arrest them.
The pastor was released later at about 10.30 in the night of 24th and the rest of the believers released only on 25th, the Christmas Day at about 6.30 in the evening.
Before accusing the false charges of illegal convesion, a group of Hindu radicals attacked Pastor James Ram and the Church of God members for celebrating Christmas on 24th.
The pastor and about 20 believers and the Bible School students were beaten up for singing carols and distributing Christian literature.
One of the church members has lost his hearing ability because of the blow received. The hand of the Bible School student was fractured in the attack. Five of the believers were injured.
Pastor James Ram was a Hindu Brahmin, originally from Nepal, converted into Christianity about 30 years ago. Previously he was called as Vishnu Ram. His wife belong to an ancient christian family of Pathanamthitta District in Kerala. He was one of the team members of the IMAM Gospel Crusade, lead by Pastor Paul Ciniraj of the Salem Voice Ministries to spread the redeeming love of Jesus Christ among Muslims and the Hindus.
The Christian Ministers of the Churches in India (CMCI) and the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) condemned the attack and the arrest of Pastor James Ram and the believers.
Pastor Paul Ciniraj, Director,
Salem Voice Ministries