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Christian Tribal and Dalit Priests Attacked

Global Council of Indian Christians

5/16/07 India (Persecution Update India) – On May 14th, Rev. George Minj and Sister Teresa Kindo were attacked in a village near Ranchi in Jharkhand as they returned to their Gara Lodhma parish in the evening, after leading prayers in a nearby village.

The priest, wounded in the head and body, was admitted in Ranchi ‘s Rajendra Institute of Medical Science, the state’s premier hospital.

Doctor C.B. Sahay of the neurology department said that r Minj “has a blood clot in the head, but is out of danger.” He added that the priest “has been kept under observation.”

Priests in Ranchi archdiocese, quoting Sister Kindo, said the attackers left Minj when they saw the headlights of an approaching vehicle on the isolated village road.

Sister Kindo was riding pillion on the Father George Minj motorbike when they heard someone shouting for them to stop.

Five people suddenly appeared from a bush and began beating Father Minj. “They beat him so heavily that the priest’s helmet was damaged,” Father Ekka said, adding that both the priest and nun fell to the ground.

The assailants then dragged the priest to the bush and continued beating him. Sister Kindo cried for help, saying he was a priest and should not be attacked, Father Ekka continued. One of the attackers then hit the nun’s legs and covered her mouth with a hand. At that point the assailants saw the approaching vehicle and fled.

Govinda, a Hindu villager, was driving the vehicle. He took the injured priest to the parish and later, with the help of others, brought him to the hospital.

Ekka insisted the intention must have been “to kill the priest,” because the attackers did not “ask for anything” from Father Minj or the nun. “They didn’t even take the priest’s cell phone or his purse from his pocket.”

A week before the attack, according to Father Ekka, a group threw stones at the church of another parish in the area and broke its windows. They also tried to damage sacred items inside, “but they did not harm priests or nuns.”