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ICC Note:

A Christian pastor in India’s Rajasthan state was brutally beaten by Hindu radicals wielding metal poles and wooden sticks this month as he was leading a Gospel outreach in a village. The pastor was severely injured, but was taken to the hospital by other Christians who witnessed the attack. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship across India have dramatically increased. According to Open Doors USA, Christians were attacked 441 times in 2016. In just the first six months of 2017, Christians have already been attacked 410 times. 

08/28/2017 India (Christian Daily) – A group of Hindu extremists reportedly attacked an Indian pastor with metal poles and wooden sticks while participating in a Gospel outreach in the village of Dabli Rathan in Rajasthan on Aug. 16.

Speaking to British Pakistani Christians Association’s lead officer in India, Pastor Naresh Paul, Christ Power Ministry Society pastor Harjot Sethi said the members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh attacked him while he was speaking during the Gospel outreach. The Hindu fundamentalists also slapped his wife Arvinderjot Sethi but she was able to flee to the local police station.

The brutal attack left Pastor Sethi with severe head injuries and a fractured leg. Fortunately, people inside the church where the incident happened were able to intervene and helped the police catch four assailants.

Although the assailants responsible for the attack on Pastor Sethi have already been caught, people believe that they are unlikely to be prosecuted. The police were reportedly hesitant in taking action against the suspects, so the pastor’s colleagues had to share videos of the incident on social media to rally support.

“Christian’s in India are suffering an increasing amount of animosity since the BJP regime secured victory in the national elections of 2014,” said Pastor Sethi. “Life is becoming increasingly untenable and we pray for change to come.”

The attack on Pastor Sethi comes just three months after police arrested and charged 10 Christians for alleged kidnapping and forced religious conversion of children while they were on their way to a summer camp. The parents of the children had reportedly given their consent for their kids to attend the activity in Madhya Pradesh, Christian Today reported.

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