Christian Workers Beaten For Showing 'Jesus' Film in India

Wednesday, January 10, 2001

by Michael Fischer

HONG KONG (Compass) -- Members of the radical Hindu group the Bajrang Dal beat two Christian workers, David Massey and Simon Sakria, for more than two hours on January 4 for showing a "Jesus" film in Jehra, a remote village on the Rajasthan-Gujarat border in western India. Church leaders said the two Christians had gone to visit the house of a local pastor when they were attacked.

The attackers pushed them into a jeep, stopped at a deserted place near Vijaynagar in Gujarat, beat them up and abandoned them. David Massey says the Bajrang Dal kicked them and beat them with sticks.

"They also tried to hit me with a sword, but I caught it in my hand," Massey said. "They said, 'Why have you come here? Why are you showing a film on Jesus here?'"

Massey and Sakria are now in a hospital in Himmatnagar in Gujarat. Doctors say they were seriously injured and are in a state of shock. Police have registered a case against the Bajrang Dal district president Jagdish Taral.

Meanwhile, the All India Christian Council (AICC) urged Indian President K.R. Narayanan to direct the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to arrest those responsible for the attack.

In a letter to the president, AICC executive member Samson Christian also urged him to ban the RSS, the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other fundamentalist organizations "carrying on the vilification campaign" against the Christian community.

Copyright © 2001 Compass Direct News Service. Used with permission.