by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A young pastor in India and his congregation were attacked by a 200-man-strong mob of Hindu nationalists brandishing hockey sticks last week, sending the Christians to prison, where they endured a demonic level of police brutality.
When the mob from the Hindu youth militant organization Bajrang Dal came to a church in Uttar Pradesh on March 15 crying foul over alleged forced conversions, Pastor Indresh Kuman Gautaum, 24, went down from the pulpit to stand between the mob and his flock.
“Once I saw them armed with hockey sticks and steel rods, I understood that they had come to attack us,” he told Morning Star News. “I got down from the pulpit and decided to face them before they cause nuisance or attack any of the members of the congregation.”
Soon Gautaum and a few other Christians present found themselves at the police station with officers in cahoots with the nationalists.
“They had already started attacking us, and the police kept looking on,” he explained. “They seized the Bibles and the sound instruments, but the officers both male and female did not stop them.”
One officer took especial pleasure in the fact that by torturing the Christians in their cell, he was inflicting harm on Jesus Himself.
“He said that he wanted to get that feeling that he is torturing Jesus,” Pastor Gautaum related. “‘Let’s see if your Jesus would come here to save you,’ he laughed, as he continued mocking us, calling us names, casteist slurs, but none of us protested.”
Christians in India have reported that police are almost totally bought and paid for by the extreme right-wing Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, whose ascent to power in 2014 sent India from 31st on Open Doors USA's World Watch List for Christian persecution to 10th.