05/10/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – On May 9, radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Madhya Pradesh state attacked a pastor and his family because they held a family prayer within their own home. According to local sources, the radicals used the current COVID crisis as an excuse for the attack.
At around 9 p.m., a group of three men, led by a man named Dipesh, began attacking Pastor Harish’s home in a suburb outside of Jhabua. The men reportedly threw stones at the house, shouted obscenities, and even destroyed a wooden fence built around the house.
“We were really frightened, hearing the curses and filthy language,” Pastor Harish told International Christian Concern (ICC). “They were very furious and told me that I should not hold any prayers, even with my own family.”
According to Pastor Harish, the radicals told him that he would be forced to leave the area if he continued to lead prayers in his home. The radicals also claimed he was violating COVID protocols by assembling for prayers, even though he was just praying with his own immediate family.
“This is not the first time,” Pastor Harish said. “About a year ago we were attacked even worse. But when I approached the police, they did not act against the culprits. They targeted me instead and gave me a hard time.”
Pastor Harish leads a local house church where around 80 families regularly attended worship prior to the pandemic. However, since the pandemic, Pastor Harish has held back from leading corporate prayers services and gatherings.
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