Pentecostal Pastor in India Attacked by Radicals for Sharing Faith on Bus

ICC Note: A Pentecostal pastor and several of his followers were attacked and beaten by Hindu radicals in India’s Bihar state after they were accused of engaging in forced conversions. The incident that took place on February 26 started with the pastor simply sharing his faith with other passengers on a bus he was riding. A Hindu radical, also a passenger on the bus, became upset by the conversation and instigated the attack on the pastor and his followers.

02/28/2018 India (Asia News) – A Pentecostal pastor was attacked and beaten by Hindu radicals for alleged “forced conversions” in the district of West Champaran, Bihar. Police superintendent Jayant Kant said the incident occurred on February 26, while the GEMS (Gospel Echoing Missionary Society) missionary was on a bus with 13 faithful.

The group was to attend a prayer gathering in the Protestant Church of Saint Paul in Bettiah. Pastor Palanivelu, the local GEMS leader, says that during the journey Rev. Joseph and his companions spoke about the Gospel with the other passengers on the bus. But one of them, affiliated to a radical Hindu group, did not like the discussion of Christianity. So he started screaming at the Christians and questioned the motivations that drove the faithful to abandon their religion of origin, assuming they were all previously Hindu faith.

Shibu Thomas of Persecution Relief told Matters India that “the angry passenger alerted other members of the fundamentalist group. Once they arrived at the Bettiah station, there was a crowd of fanatics waiting for the unsuspecting Christians.”

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