Free Press Journal

Hindu Yuva Vahini disrupts church services near Gorakhpur


Maharajganj (UP) : Police stopped a church event attended by more than 150 people, including 10 American tourists, here after the right-wing Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) alleged that religious conversion was being carried out.

  The event was stopped after the youth brigade, set up in 2002 by Yogi Adityanath, now the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, filed a complaint against Yohannan Adam, the pastor of the church, accusing him of converting Hindus to Christianity, a charge the pastor denied.SHO, Dathauli, Anand Kumar Gupta said no prior permission was taken for the meeting, which was held ahead of Good Friday.  “We stopped the prayer meeting after a complaint was registered. A probe is underway and appropriate action will be taken if the charges are found to be correct,” he said.

Dathauli falls in Maharajganj district, it borders Gorakhpur, the Lok Sabha constituency represented five times by Adityanath before he took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh.

Gupta said mass was held there quite often but as this time foreigners were involved, the HYV suspected that conversion was going on.

The US tourists, including a few women, were let off after police checked their travel documents.

A US embassy spokesperson said, “We are aware of the news reports concerning this incident. The protection of American citizens overseas is our highest priority.”

The spokesperson didn’t elaborate due to “privacy concerns”. HYV leader Krishna Nandan, who surrounded the church with his supporters  on Friday, said that the “presence of US nationals indicates that innocent and illiterate Hindus were being converted by missionaries who lured them with money to change their religion”.