India: Hindus Angry at Burial of Pastor Force Church Members to Exhume His Body
Hindus angry at the burial of a former Christian pastor in a new cemetery last week forced church leaders to exhume his body, Open Doors News reports. The body of the Rev. Daniel Das, retired pastor of the Church of North India in Pithora, was buried again Thursday in an older Christian cemetery that was already full and prone to flooding during India's summer monsoons, now in full swing. The new burial plot promptly filled with water. The church's pastor, Rev. Rodrick John, said since the cemetery was full and often inaccessible during the summer rains, the sub-divisional magistrate for the area set aside new ground for a cemetery six years ago. However, when church members buried the late Rev. Das in a plot in the new burial ground, about 600 members of a local Hindu agricultural community stormed the site, shouting anti-Christian slogans. The magistrate "left it to us Christians as to what we would do," John said, so to avert violence, the Christians exhumed the body and moved it to the older cemetery. The situation grew even more tense when the Hindus staged a rally against the Christians in the area; no violence has been reported, but "the incident has left the community shaken and the village polarized," John said.