India Hindu Militants Beat Evangelist

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NEW DELHI, INDIA (Worthy News)-- An Indian evangelist and pastor still needed medical treatment Wednesday, May 4, a month after Hindu militants opposing evangelism beat him in front of his children in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Christians said.

Remesh Devda, 30, was traveling by motorbike with his two sons from the town of Chikklia to the town of Raseda when three militants on motorbikes suddenly blocked his way, according to local Christians.

The militants, drunk and armed with large bamboo sticks and clubs, allegedly attacked the pastor and effectively forced his 10-year-old Elias and 8-year-old Shimon to watch the April 4 violence.

They allegedly threatened to kill Pastor Ramesh and warned him not to come to the area again.


The cries of the young boys alerted people passing by to the situation, where witnesses said they saw the pastor with head and other injuries.

When others arrived on scene, the attackers fled. Pastor Ramesh has remained in hospital "receiving care for severe injuries, including a fractured skull," said Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM), an advocacy group closely following the case.
"He was thankful that his sons were spared from beating, though his older son sustained a leg injury during the attack," VOM reported.

It was not clear which group was behind the attack, and Indian officials have not commented.

Pastor Ramesh, who serves with the Christian Reformed Fellowship of India in three villages, suspects his attackers were Hindu militants angered by his Sunday worship services, Christians said. Although he reportedly believes the attack was pre-planned, he reportedly said he does not want to report it to the police for fear of retaliation.


Several nationalist Hindu groups oppose the spread of Christianity in India, a predominantly Hindu nation of over 1 billion people.

VOM said it has asked its supporters to "Ask God to heal Pastor Ramesh" and "Pray a spirit of trust in the Lord will guard his heart and mind against fear."

In a statement, VOM said it has also asked for prayers for guidance and safety for his wife and children, "who are also active in Christian ministry."