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ICC Note: Pastor Rakesh Kumar Masih was beaten by a mob of Hindu extremists on March 19 leaving him injured and unconscious. The attack started a mere 50 meters away from a police station, yet no police officer intervened on Pastor Masih’s behalf. Attacks on Christians in India are increasing in both intensity and number. Much of this increase can be explained by the impunity many Hindu extremists enjoy when attacking religious minorities.

04/25/2018 India (Morning Star News) – In a village in northern India, pastor Rakesh Kumar Masih passed out from the pain of Hindu extremists beating his genitals, and they left him for dead.

The sun was shining bright when the Hindu nationalists stormed into the house of one of his church members, where some Christians had gathered on March 19 in Nagla Nishankh village, Firozabad District in Uttar Pradesh state, and dragged him out, he said.

“I have found favor in God’s eyes,” Pastor Masih told Morning Star News. “I am blessed to have suffered for His name.”

The attack on the 42-year-old pastor started as he was leading a Lent meeting at the house, where he and other Christians occasionally went on special occasions. While Pastor Masih and the others sang worship songs on the first upper floor of the house, 12 to 15 people barged in and began to beat him, he said.

One grabbed Masih’s bag, which was lying on a side table and contained all the money he had – 430 rupees ($US6.50) – and important bank documents, as well as another member’s 400 rupees and the member’s Bible. As they hit Pastor Masih and dragged him down the stairs, they told him they were taking him to waiting police outside.

“I kept insisting, ‘If the police have come with you, why did they not come upstairs to get me?’” he said.

Outside were no police officers but a mob of Hindu extremists waiting to pounce on him, he said.

“About 30 to 35 men were waiting outside the house, and they started to hit me while saying, ‘We will teach you how to be a Christian,’” Pastor Masih said.

His wife, Asha Masih, followed him throughout the ordeal, screaming and calling for help. The mob pushed and manhandled her whenever she tried to free him, and she insisted on going with him to the police, he said – except that the mob had no intention to taking him to the police station, only 50 meters away.

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