Six Missionaries and a Bible College Student Beaten in Uttarakhand

Thursday, August 21, 2008

UTTARAKHAND, INDIA (ANS/Gospel for Asia) -- Anti-Christian extremists brutally attacked Rasul Sarvak, a Bible college student, and seven Gospel for Asia missionaries on India’s Independence Day, August 15. The mob became enraged after they saw Rasul passing out Gospel literature with a team of other students from the college.

As part of their yearly Independence Day celebrations, Bible college students across India participated in various community service projects. However, due to inclement weather, Rasul’s college was forced to cancel their service event.

In lieu of the project, Rasul and other students decided to distribute tracts. While they were out, a group of religious fanatics became infuriated by what they were doing and tried to beat them up. All of the other students escaped, but Rasul—the youngest in the team—could not get away.

“You are trying to make our country a Christian nation!” the extremists screamed.

The men beat Rasul and tried to force him to deny his faith in Jesus, but Rasul refused. After beating him further, the radicals took Rasul to the police station. There, the police placed Rasul in custody to protect him from the wrath of the mob.

As soon as the Bible college staff heard about the incident, they contacted the police inspector by phone. The inspector questioned the staff about the outreach and service projects, and then requested that four staff members drive to the station.

When the four missionaries arrived at the police station, the angry mob stood in front of the doors. When the missionaries tried to go through, the extremists began beating them. Although the police were right there, they could not restrain the radicals.

Meanwhile, two more GFA missionaries drove up to the station on a motor scooter. The mob immediately ran and, without asking any questions, started attacking them as well. One of the two missionaries suffered a severe eye injury.

After beating the missionaries, the radicals vandalized their motor scooter and threw it in a ditch. Then they went to the vehicle the first four missionaries drove to the station and tried to burn it and pop the tires, but the police constable stopped them.

Finally, the extremists left and the police transported Rasul and the six missionaries to another police station in a nearby area to keep them safe. There, some local Christians came and filed paperwork, and the group was released.

Rasul and the other missionaries praise the Lord that they were not fatally injured and consider it a privilege to suffer for Christ. They ask for prayer that their wounds will heal quickly and that those who persecuted them will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.