Monday, July 02, 2007

Pastor attacked in Chhattisgarh

On July 1, 2007 in Rouabandha, Bilainagar, Durg District of Chhattisgarh, about 60 to 70 Bajrang Dal activists attacked Pastor Israel during a church service. Around 11am, the activists interrupted the worship service of Living Grace Ministries church. Besides beating the pastor, they destroyed musical instruments which cost approximately Rs. 15,000 and stole Bibles which they later burnt at the central market in Rouabandha. Also, Mr. Ravi Kumar, a believer who tried to protect the pastor, was seriously injured, with broken teeth and facial injuries.

Pastor Israel received many threatening calls from Hindutva activists during the past two months. Also, on 5 May 2007, the same group of people beat and harassed one of the families who attend the church.

The attackers fabricated a story of fraudulent conversions after an unknown person complained that Pastor Israel had offered Rs. 10,000 to convert to Christianity. They activists used this report as a reason for their attack.

Pastor Israel and his family have been serving in the town for the last 12 years.

FIR has not been filed by either party. Police said they are investigating the incident and will protect the Christian community.