Why does British Asian Christian Association Chairman Wilson Chowdhry believe Indian Pastor Gideon was murdered? Watch his Where in The World interview from The Global Lane.
India may be the world’s largest democracy, but the government often falls short when it comes to protecting Christians and other minorities from attack by militant Hindus.
In 2017, Christians experienced almost as many attacks against them during the first half of the year than during all of 2016. So far this year, there are no signs that the religious intolerance and persecution is letting up.
Just within this past week, two major incidents occurred: one in Tamil Nadu state, and another in Jammu Kashmir.
Last Saturday, parishoners of Maknayeem Church near Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu attempted to enter their church for a prayer and fasting meeting. When they arrived, they discovered the church gate was locked.
After unlocking the gate, they entered the church and found 43-year old Pastor Gideon Perisyaswamy hanging form the rafters of the church.
According to Wilson Chowdhry of the British Asian Christian Association, when police arrived on the scene they appeared “whimsical” and failed to initiate an investigation of the crime scene. Instead, they labeled the pastor’s death a suicide.
Chowdhry says the church members suspected foul play because a gold ring was missing from the pastor’s finger and there were signs of welts, bruising and torture on Pastor Gideon’s body.
“This was a particularly special day in which a large number of the church were about to attend for prayer an fasting. It would seem very unusual for a man to commit suicide before that without leaving a note,” he said.
According to Chowdhry, the church and pastor had received several death threats from militant Hindus who were angry about the church evangelizing and converting Hindus to Christianity. Pastor Gideon had reported the threats to local police.