Attempt to burn Pastor alive in car, Karnataka
In a scene reminiscent of the gruesome murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in Odisha, who were burned alive in the van they were sleeping for the night – a similar attempt was made on Pastor M. V. Paulose, who has been ministering at “Thilos Prayer Hall”, Tarikere in Chikmagalur, Karnataka.
Construction work for the roof of the Church was underway. Therefore, Pastor decided to sleep outside, in his 12-year old, second hand car, to keep an eye on the building material, that was lying outside.
It is alleged that Petrol was poured to set on fire, the old four-wheel drive, in which he had retired for the night. No sooner had the chilling mission been completed, the perpetrators melted away in the darkness as the flames spread.
“God woke me up!” recalls Pastor.
The heat generated by the flames, the smell of petrol, woke up Pastor Paulose. Sounding the alarm, along with his family, they managed to put out the fire with several buckets of water.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pastor recollected that he had a visitor earlier in the evening from the neighbourhood, a Basavaraj, who had been objecting to the Church construction, which had the necessary sanctions and permissions. He had also seen Pastor retiring for the night in his car.
Persecution Relief spoke to the SP, Chikmagalur, Mr. Harish Pandya, who has sent a team under DYSP, to investigate this criminal incident.
Pastor Paulose is currently admitted at the Shimoga Government Hospital for emergency treatment for the burns on the side of his body and his arm.
Persecution Relief has recorded 477 hate crimes against Christians in 2018. Karnataka witnessed 15 incidents of anti- Christian attacks – the 12th highest state in India.
Church pray for Pastor Paulose and his family’s safety and for God’s peace in the area.
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