Indian pastor tied to tree and beaten by radicals, charged with forced conversions

Thursday, March 12, 2020

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A pastor in India is in hiding after receiving charges for "illegal conversion" following a beating by more than 150 Hindu radicals.

Pastor Keralli was worshipping with his flock on Sunday, March 1st when Hindu nationalists wearing shirts with the phrase "Jai Shri Ram"--a slogan related to the mythical figure Ram who serves as the ideal for Hindu Indians--burst in and tied the pastor to a tree outside.

"They took me to two other places in the same village and tied me to an electrical pole and a pillar in the marketplace. All the time they continued their physical harassment for more than three hours,” Pastor Keralli told Morning Star News.

Far from helping the situation, police charged the pastor with blasphemy under Indian Penal Code Section 295.

“Across [Karnataka state], the number of incidents have grown sharply because of the complicity of the police and the freehand given to Hindu radicals," an anonymous Christian leader explained.

India has risen to tenth place on Open Doors USA's World Watch List under the leadership of the nationalist Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, whose rhetoric hearkens back to an ideal, legendary, and homogenously Hindu India.