In one of the eight attacks on Christians since the COVID-19 lockdown was partially lifted in India two weeks ago, a mob of about 150 people in the southern state of Telangana dragged a pastor into the street and beat him while he was praying for a sick person.
“They kicked me like they would kick a football,” Pastor Suresh Rao, a church planter, told the U.S.-based Christian persecution watchdog International Christian Concern about the attack on him in Kolonguda village last Sunday.
“They dragged me into the street and pushed me to the ground,” Rao added. “There, they started to trample on me. They tore my clothes, kicked me all over my body, and punched my left eye. I have sustained a serious eye injury as a result of a blood clot.”
Local Christians told ICC that Rao arrived at the sick person’s house around 9:30 a.m. for prayer. Soon after that, the house was surrounded by a mob of nearly 150 people led by a man identified as Ashok.
The attackers accused Rao of illegally converting Hindus to Christianity. “They said that India is a Hindu nation, and there is no place for Christians,” Rao explained. “I am prepared for this kind of eventuality. I know the cost of serving Jesus in these remote villages, and I will continue to serve the people of this region.”
ICC said it has recorded at least eight separate attacks on Christians in two weeks following the partial lifting of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
On June 11, a group of unidentified people burned down the building of an independent evangelical congregation of about 100 Christians, Real Peace Church, in Vaylur village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
“I was so distressed and pained in my heart,” Pastor Ramesh, the church’s head pastor, was quoted as saying. “It was hard labor for 10 years to build the church. All the hard work and sacrificial donations from the poor congregants were brought down to the ground. All that is left is ash.”
The Hindu nationalist government of the northern state of Haryana recently pledged to enact a law to regulate religious conversions that would lead to the arrest of Christians who share their faith, talk about Heaven or Hell, or perform charity work for lower caste Hindus.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar