- Punishing the innocent and shielding the guilty, Bihar
A Pentecostal Pastor was attacked and beaten by radicals for alleged “forced conversions” in the district of Aurangabad, Bihar. The incident occurred on Sunday, 04thNovember, just after the Sunday Worship service.
Around 1.00 pm, 2 unidentified persons unexpectedly, visited Pastor at his residence on some pretext. Soon a hard-line religious mob followed them and trespassed into his house and brutally beat him up. They kept shouting anti-Christian slogans and abusing Christ. They falsely accused him of forced conversions, a common excuse used to shut down churches and muzzle Christians.
They continued mocking him, spitting out derogatory, hateful words against Christianity and Christ. Pastor who is suffering with a heart ailment, fell to the ground with the blows, slaps and kicks, that were rained on him. Unable to defend himself from the mob brutality, Pastor suffered an epileptic attack. In spite of the attack, the brutality did not stop.
The fanatics, had a letter with them which falsely claimed that the Pastor was involved in conversion activities and that the Colony people had caught him in the act. Hence, he was vacating the place. They forced Pastor to sign the letter under duress.
Pastor Stephen has been ministering with the AG Church, in a rented premise, which was also his home, from a Mr. Vikas Singh.
Someone informed the Police and around 5 Policemen arrived. However, the Police were derelict in performing their duties. Instead of punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent and injured Pastor from the mob, the Police, ruthlessly beat up the Pastor as well.
Afterwards, the Police hailed a mini truck and demanded that Pastor vacate the house immediately. Pastor was home alone as his wife was away at her home town in Tamil Nadu. They escorted him half the way to ensure that he left the city. Mid-way, to add insult to injury, they demanded money from him.
Pastor asked that he be dropped off at GEMS Hospital in Dehri, in Rohtas District of Bihar,
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor Bob Raj, AG Church Patna, mentioned that they had received a call from a Pastor Suresh, informing about the incident. Rushing to his aid, Pastor Bob tried to reach Pastor Stephen. As Pastor answered the phone, someone apparently snatched the Phone and began abusing him. Immediately, Pastor Bob Raj, called the Aurangabad SP and informed him about the incident, while also informing Persecution Relief.
Pastor Renjith from India Mission, Aurangabad, who lives near Pastor Stephen’s home, rushed to his home when he heard the news. As he was approaching the place, he could see the mob and the Police misbehaving with Pastor. Immediately he alerted all Pastors in the neighbourhood
Currently, Pastor Stephen is admitted to GEMS Hospital with critical injuries.
Church, please pray that he will recover from his terrible experience and come out stronger and steadfast in the Lord.
Pray that Pastor will find an alternate place to live and a Church for the faithful to meet
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