Police in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state have put several house churches under surveillance in order to stop worship, in violation of the country’s secular constitution, sources said.
Police have told congregations to stop worship in homes in Anuperpalayem, Velampalayem, Kangeyam and several other villages in Tiruppur District, the Rev. Vijaya Kumar of The Synod of Pentecostal Churches told Morning Star News.
“We are going through a tough time – there is immense pressure from the police administration in Tiruppur District that Christians are not allowed to gather for prayers even within the four walls of their homes,” Pastor Kumar said. “The pastors of these small churches have been harassed to seek permission from district officials to conduct prayer services.”
Courts in India have repeatedly held that no permission is needed to worship in homes, said Nehemiah Christie, Tamil Nadu state coordinator for legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)-India, according to Morning Star News.
“This level of opposition from government officials is undermining the secularistic values inscribed in the Indian constitution and could lead to deprivation of Christians’ right and freedom to practice their faith, which was upheld time and again in several judgments delivered by the Madras and Madurai benches of the high court,” Christie told Morning Star News.
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SOURCE: Assist News