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Indian Pastor Attacked by ‘Monkey Brigade’ during Sunday service in Chhattisgarh

By James Varghese

9/25/07 INDIA (ANS) — According to a news story by the Global Council of Indian Christians news web portal (www.persecution.in), an Indian pastor was attacked during a morning service in his church on Sunday, September 23.

The story stated that Pastor Pradyuman Meshram (35) was conducting his morning service last Sunday at Sanjay Nagar in Kanker Dist, about 140 km from Raipur , the state capital, when suddenly the service was disturbed by about 20 Bajrangis, also known as the “Monkey Brigade.” They were joined by about 20 or 30 local residents, who started yelling at the pastor to come outside. Even though many believers told them that the service was going on they refused to listen.

Then, to the horror of the congregation, they barged into the room and started savagely beating up the pastor, causing him severe injuries. Some of the women present managed to rescue the pastor from the attackers, and drive them outside and shut the church door.

Then the gang began to destroy the two-wheelers belonging to church members, which were parked outside. People from the church alerted the local police who soon arrived and took the attackers to the nearest police station at Kanker.

A large group of belligerent men then gathered outside the police station and started pressurizing the police, alleging that the Christians were engaged in conversion and also that they were conducting “noisy meetings.” This went on for about 10 hours, until 9:30 pm. Finally the police admitted a First Information Report (FIR) by the pastor and the church into their records.

Pray for the Pastor and his wife Savitri (33) and their two children, 7 and 4 years old, and for the Christian community in that community that they may have wisdom as they deal with this situation and for peace to prevail.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and we are in touch with authorities,” said a spokesperson for the Global Council of Indian Christians.