India: Hindu radicals attack two pastors in Haryana state

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A group of Hindu extremists violently attacked two pastors in northern India’s Haryana state last month, accusing them of receiving foreign funding to forcibly convert Hindus to Christianity, Morning Star News (MSN) reports. Persecution of Christians in India has increased dramatically since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in 2014.

On January 28, Pastor Kumar and Pastor Inderjit were praying on the roof of their home in Haryana state’s Ambala Cantonment, when they were spotted by Sanjay Rana, a neighbor and member of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal, MSN reports. By the time the pastors finished praying and came down from the roof, Rana had assembled a mob of around 12 people who demanded that Kumar and Inderjit identify themselves.

The mob then verbally mocked and insulted the pastors’ faith in Christ before starting to punch and slap them. Two of the assailants also snatched Pastor Kumar’s Bible and set it on fire. In a statement to MSN, Pastor Kumar said he lost consciousness. However, what most upset him was the loss of his Bible.

“Their beating did not pain me as much as the snatching of my Bible did,” Pastor Kumar told MSN. “I began to weep. I said, ‘This is my Bible….this is my Jesus. Please give my Bible back to me. A woman and a man from the crowd using a matchbox burned my Bible, and she sarcastically exclaimed, ‘See, I have set your Jesus ablaze.’” The mob then tried to force the pastors into their car, to take them to a temple and have them bow down to their Hindu god, MSN reports. However, the police were called and the mob dispersed.

India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. Prior to the BJP coming to power, it had ranked 31.