Pastor & associate beaten in two separate incidents, Karnataka
Paul says in, Acts 20:22-24
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Rev John Shamine had to say the same to us when we spoke to him. He was ministering in Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka state. “10 years ago after God’s calling, I left Bangalore in 2011 and started the ministry ‘Divine Mercy Ministries’ in the year 2010 in Rajanukunte, Doddaballapura main road. For the past 20 years I have been in the ministry.”
Rev John told us that he had been persecuted more than 10 times in the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 and on 19/3/2019. But by Gods Grace, his ministry has been growing. As persecution increased, the church grew.
He continued “On 19/3/19 I was at my residence with my family. Religious fanatics got into my house, beat me up and left. I went to the Rajanukunte Police Station and filed a complaint. Again on 22/3/19 around 6 pm, my associate Br. Suresh was coming back on his bike after doing ministry in a village when he was cornered by the religious fanatics who had arrived on 4 bikes. They beat up Br. Suresh with sticks, fists and kicks. Later I took him to a hospital following which he was discharged. He is presently resting at my residence. He is in tremendous pain and his head has a lacerated wound.”
One in three Christians face a high degree of persecution in Asia, with India entering the top 10 for the first time. India, the world’s largest democracy, rose to 10th place on the list, having been at 28th place five years ago.
Political rhetoric and ambiguous interpretations of the Freedom of Religion Acts (or “anti-conversion” laws) are responsible for the high rate of Christian persecution in India according to the UK-US based monitoring group Open Doors. Open Doors publishes an annual World Watch List of 50 countries where it is most dangerous to live as a Christian.
In 2019, India ranked tenth – a first in the history of the list in over two decades. Dr Matthew Rees who authored the report told The Wire that “India has been going up the list rather steadily for the past five years” and can now be classified as a country with extreme persecution. Approximately 64 million Christians live in India but constitute less than 5% of the total population of 1.3 billion.
This report is based on the data Open Doors collects annually through an extensive survey in 75 countries.
Persecution Relief has recorded more than 477 persecution incidents in 2018, across the 29 states of India. The doors of a multitude of Churches have been sealed and scores arrested on false charges of indulging in conversion activities.
In 2019 we have already recorded more than 110 Hate crime cases against Christians.
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