07/23/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – On July 5, an unidentified man, believed to be a Hindu nationalist, filed a false police report against a pastor in Andhra Pradesh alleging forcible conversion activities. The accusation was made against Pastor Chinna Rao, head pastor of Christ Church, where 50 to 60 people worship regularly in a rented house in Vishakhapatnam.
Pastor Rao and his church members were on the beach baptizing a few people from the congregation. An enraged man began to argue with Pastor Rao while the baptisms were ongoing. The man shouted, “You are defiling the land by practicing the Christian faith and also converting others into it.” The man continued to argue that Christians do not have a right to live in India, as India belongs to Hindus.
The church members ignored this man and the baptisms were completed. However, the man took photographs of the baptisms and the vehicles of the church members before he left the scene. Later, Pastor Rao received a phone call asking him to report to the police station as a complaint was filed against him.
The complaint was filed by the same man who argued and harassed Pastor Rao earlier that day. The complaint claimed Pastor Rao had forced him to deny his Hindu faith and accept Jesus. Police took Pastor Rao’s statement and statements from other church members. The police then asked Pastor Rao to be available for further investigation.
“I am worried about the future ministry; my congregation is young and is slowly growing in the Word of God,” Pastor Rao told International Christian Concern (ICC). “With the controversies and going to the police station, this will instill fear and doubts whether they want to continue with the church. Please pray for our safety and grace to be given to endure this situation.”