Village Pastor Beat with Brick by Extremists in India
ICC Note: Hindu radicals attacked and severely beat Sujit, a Christian pastor in India, because of the ministry he led. Christian leaders are often targeted by Hindu radicals, who use intimidation and violence against those spreading Christianity. In recent years, attacks on Christians in India have become more common. Many pastors and evangelists accept the fact that they will be attacked at some point in their career as a minister.
09/14/2018 India (Christian Today) – An Indian pastor has told of how he was attacked by Hindu extremists and forced to leave his village.
Sujit, 34, told Open Doors: ‘When I first accepted Jesus, my family was forced, by the local villagers, to expel me from the house because of my faith. I went to another village and have been ministering there for 15 years. I have faced much opposition, but I have never suffered persecution like the one I suffered a few months ago.’
Sujit’s congregation became too big to meet in houses, so they wanted to build a church. However, local villagers opposed the construction work and vandalized the church three times: ‘When we began the construction of the church, one of the well-known people in the village, who is also a retired army officer, made a false complaint to the RSS [a Hindu nationalist group] leaders that we were luring people to Christianity using money,’ he said.
‘After this, the RSS groups from other villages made many visits to our village, conducted meetings with the villagers and instigated the Hindus against us. There were constant attacks on the construction sites.’
According to Sujit, the authorities were unhelpful. ‘I made a complaint to the village chief and the police, and they assured me of complete support from their side and protection,’ he said. ‘But then, there was another attack. Again I questioned the authorities, and again they assured me that the criminals would be punished and that I should continue the work.’
However, the vandalism continued. When Sujit heard the site was again under attack, he said: ‘I ran to the spot and confronted them. Two of the extremists caught me from the sides and the third one bashed my head with a brick.
‘They showered continuous kicks and blows on me, threatening that they would kill me if I continued preaching Christianity in the village. I suffered severe head and spinal injuries; I was bleeding and was rushed to the hospital by my church members.’
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