Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pastor attacked in Hyderabad, police refuse to help

From our correspondent

Hindu activists attacked a pastor in Hyderabad on 3 December 2005 and threatened to kill if he did not stop preaching in the name of Christ.

The pastor Yesupadam of Ashaiah Nagar in Hyderabad works for Believers Church. While conducting a prayer meeting on 3 December, someone called him out. "Thinking someone was calling me for prayer, I went out without informing anyone. I saw seven people at a distance waiting for me. Without suspecting anything I went to meet them. Loke Raj, the leader of the locality, who was among them, first abused me for preaching Christ and then started to beat me."

Realising they were members of the Hindu fundamentalist group, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the pastor sought their permission to inform his people and come back. But they did not give him a chance. Instead they held him by his collar and took him on a scooter to the local police station.

At the police station there were about 20 RSS people waiting for him. They took him to Sub-Inspector Sudershen Reddy. When they said the pastor was converting the people in the locality, the police officer said the Christians had become a big headache. "Then he asked me: `did your mother conceive you through a English man or Telugu man? Are you a Telugu man? Are you an Indian? If you desire to live, stop preaching about Jesus Christ. You know people are killing pastors in the city but still you do not learn anything."

Thereafter in the presence of the police, the RSS men forced a tilak on his forehead. "When I refused, they said if you do not listen, you will be another one on the list of pastors killed. We have a big network and it is easy for us to kill you outside the police station.

One of them Basvanna said, "I will cut off your genitals and ruin your family. I was very thirsty because I was fasting for the last three days. But they did not permit me to drink water. Nor they allowed him to call and inform his people." Finally someone rang up his residence and informed. When they came to the police station, the RSS men did not allow them to come inside."

When another Pastor Karunakar was informed, he came and got him released. "I was taken to the police station at 2 pm and was made to wait there till 10.15 pm. During this time the RSS men were arguing with me inside the police station and tried to beat me. The policemen just watched without doing anything. They threatened to kill me again."

Even the believers who came to the police station were threatened. "If you do not stop praying, we will even kill you. So you better leave the pasturing here and go back," they said. After the pastor was released, Loke Raj again threatened to kill him and take his wife. The pastor and the congregation are in great fear and could not conduct their regular Sunday service.

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