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Pastors and Church Members Beaten in India

ICC Note

“They are dehumanizing me and treating me very badly. My life is under threat!”

By James Varghese

Thursday, December 13, 2007 India (ANS) — A pastor and some church members were recently assaulted in India .

The attack took place in Virajpet, located in India ’s Karnataka State .

According to a story on www.persecution.in, Assembly of God Pastor John Samuel, 39, from Bangalore , and Pastor Baby Varghese, from Mumbai, were visiting Virajpet (about 185 miles from Bangalore ) on Dec. 9. They visited a Christian called Gangamma at his house, so they could all pray.

While Samuel and Varghese were praying with Gangamma and his family, a group of Hindu fundamentalists entered Gangamma’s house to stop the prayer. The group snatched a Bible away from Samuel and assaulted him. The beating left him unable to stand without assistance. The Hindu radicals then took Samuel to the Virajpet rural police station, where a false allegation was filed against him.

According to www.persecution.in, Samuel wept as he spoke by phone to a representative of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

Samuel told www.persecution.in, “They are dehumanizing me and treating me very badly. My life is under threat!” Samuel was denied any medical assistance, although he was badly beaten.

According to a report received by GCIC, Samuel was handcuffed, “paraded” by the police, treated like a terrorist and taken to court. While the judge initially refused bail, it was later granted.

Samuel’s family is very concerned about his safety and health.