Blatant, brutal attack on Dalit Pastor & congregation , Uttar Pradesh
3 Jeep’s filled with religious fanatics, barged into the Church, firing shots into the air and shouting anti-Christian slogans. They were armed with armed with sticks and guns etc. intimidating and spreading fear, forcing people to run for cover. Before people could realize and absorb what was happening, the mob surrounded the terrified congregation and began to indiscriminately and brutally beat everyone.
After a life-changing and miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ seven years ago, Pastor Ram Kumar Gautam, a Dalit, has been ministering at Yeshu Darbar Church at Raikashipur village, at Pratapgadh District, Uttar Pradesh, for the past 3 years. Over 400 Christians gather every Monday, for worship service, from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor Devesh Kumar who assists Pastor Ram, recounted the incident that took place around 2.00 pm, as worship service was just concluding.
“Suddenly, 3 Jeep’s filled with armed religious fanatics, pulled up. They were armed with sticks and guns, and bull-dozed their way into the Church, disrupting the service, and shouting anti-Christian slogans. Before people could realize and absorb what was happening, the mob surrounded the terrified congregation and began to indiscriminately and brutally beat everyone”
“Even women and children and the elderly were not spared. They also misbehaved with the sisters”.
“Akash was hit with a rod and had to have 7 sutures on his head. Bro. Jealal Gautam was brutally beaten and his arm broken. His 18-year old son is also admitted in hospital with critical injuries. 9 believers were admitted in hospital with different degrees of injuries”.
Holy Bibles were torn and desecrated; personal belongings stolen, all Church equipment and electronic items including mic systems, chair, speakers etc. totallydestroyed by the mob.
Vehicles parked outside the Church – motor bikes and scooters, were vandalized and destroyed.
Pastor Ram told Persecution Relief that as soon as the incident happened, the Lord told him to escape from the scene as their intent was to kill him. Trusting the Holy Spirit’s prompting, he ran into the nearby field. The fanatics chased after him but he managed to escape. Pastor’s wife and 4 children are safe.
Pastor also mentioned that he and the congregation were honored and privileged to suffer for Christ, and that under no circumstance would he stop preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“My Church members were earlier tense with fear but now they are strong in the Lord. The only thing that saddens me is the way they have beaten the children, women and elderly people”.
For the last two years, every Monday, hundreds of devotees from all faith come to Yeshu Darbar Church, forprayer and healing.
Although Police in Sangramgarh, Pratapgarh, UttarPradesh, have assured that they will investigate the matter, there continues to be a lack of accountability for crimes and serious abuses committed against Christians.
This attack has been covered by the local News Paper Amar Ujjala.
Church, please pray for peace and security of the Christians and the entire village.
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