Pastor and Believer assaulted by mob of fanatics, Jammu
For the past 2 years Pastor Aneesh R.G has been living with his family at a little village in the Chamba district, on the north-western border of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Pastor ministers across the state of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu, a district in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
On the 14th of January 2020, Pastor and a fellow believer, Bitu,decided to visit and pray for the family of Maya, who were initially members of their Church. The family lives around 12 kms away, at a village located on the border, in Kathua, adistrict of Jammu and Kashmir.
After visiting and praying for Maya’s family, Pastor Aneesh and Bro. Bitu set out to meet another family that lived nearby.Completely unaware of the danger that lurked, they made their way to their motorcycle that was parked on the road. When thePastor sat on his motorcycle, around 25 religious fanatics surrounded the duo. Both of them were taken by shock and surprise. Some of them took hold of the Pastor and Bro.Bitu and another snatched the keys from the motor bike. Grabbing the Pastor and Bro. Bitu, the furious group of fanatics began to physically and verbally assault the pair, showing no mercy.
In a while, a few people began to gather after hearing the commotion. Seeing this, the fanatics left the wounded victims on the road and fled.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor expressed his grief and torment. Due to succumbing injuries to his head from the attack, he is slowly recovering but is in tremendous pain. It is the season of winter in the northern territory of India where most parts are experiencing heavy snowfall and rain, due to which the Pastor has been unable to visit the hospital which is far away from where he lives. The most sensible way for him to go to a hospital is to hire a vehicle to take him there. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, he cannot afford to do that as well.
Pastor has requested prayer not only for a swift recovery but also for the safety and protection over his wife, 2 sons and himself.
Persecution Relief also spoke to Pastor Babykutty from AG, who heads the ministry, he also confirmed us about the incident.
In our prayers let us not forget to pray for the 25 religious fanatics who persecuted these men of God. Pray that their eyes and hearts would be opened to know the only one and true living God, Jesus Christ.
‘For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock’-Psalm 27:5
The Psalmist pleaded God to conceal him when his persecutorswere hunting for him. We can be secure and safe in God’s ability to protect us from the challenges this world brings to us.
Between January 2016 to December 2019, there has been a rise of 59.6% of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
What stands out amongst the Hate Crimes in India is that 4 Christians were murdered in 2019. We recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has showed a shocking 179.4% leap in cases of Christian Persecution between 2016 to 2019! From 39 cases being reported in 2016, the number has sky rocketed to 109 cases in 2019 alone bringing the total count from across the country to 527 cases. Uttar Pradesh has proved to be the most hostile state in the country against Christians for the past 3 consecutive years. Tamil Nadu continues to rank as the second most hostile state in the country with 75 cases, followed by Karnataka with 32 cases, bringing the state of Maharashtra to number 4 with 31 cases and Bihar with 30 cases stands at number 5.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
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