Christian community banned from religious services in India
International Christian Concern (ICC) learned that police officials in India’s Karnataka state banned a community of Christians from gathering for worship services indefinitely.
On the 4th of January, fifteen Christian families in Bannimardatti village, located in the Hassan District, were summoned to a meeting with the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and other police officials. At the meeting, the DSP asked them to show evidence that they were Christian and accused them of collecting government benefits as both Christians and Hindus.
The DSP then banned them from gathering for worship in Bannimardatti village. The official justified this order by claiming none of the Christians in Bannimardatti village were Christian at birth and falsely claimed they were coercively or fraudulently converted to Christianity.
The DSP’s order is in direct conflict with India’s citizens’ religious freedom rights under Article 25 of the constitution.