Bihar, Hindu extremists attack Pentecostal communities and torture a Christian
by Nirmala Carvalho

The group was participating in a peaceful two day rally. After the naming ceremony of some Christians, the radicals attacked the faithful. Previously they had tortured a Christian, who refused to insult the name of God, for five hours. The man was beaten with chains, sticks and a scythe; his wounds rubbed with water and alcohol; his body subjected to electric shocks.


Patna (AsiaNews) - The faithful of a Pentecostal community of Nabinagar assaulted, the pastor beaten harshly and other religious beaten; a Barh Christian kidnapped and tortured for hours, after he had refused to insult the name of God. These are the last two episodes of violence perpetrated by radical Hindus in the state of Bihar, who have taken on the Christians accusing them of forced conversions. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told AsiaNews " intolerance against Christians is growing in secular India."

The Christian leaders said that the Gems Pentecostal community (Gospel Echoing Missionary Society) of Nabinagar was attacked on April 10 during a peaceful rally titled "Holiness of Holiness", organized by the congregation. The local faithful - about 200 people - "were gathered from April 8 to 10 without provocation - he explains - But on the last day, after the naming ceremony of a group of 30 Christians, about 35 radicals belonging to the Bajrang Dal [Hindu nationalists, the young and militant wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, ed] raided the prayer meeting".

The attackers first ordered Jebakumar Dhanraj, who organized the convention, to leave the church. Once outside, they beat him. Then they beat other believers and missionaries and the pastor Suresh Lakhra.

Sajan K George also reports that the police immediately rushed to the place, but most agents flanked the molesters. The officers did not want to register the case against the Hindus, while they arrested the pastor on three counts, two of which do not provide for his release on bail. "It is very worrying - he says - that the police are biased against the Christian minority, while the should maintain order and protect citizens."

The second episode of persecution against Christians occurred on April 5. Extremists of the Bajrang Dal and the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu nationalists, ed] stopped another Christian, Deepak, on his way to the village of Chak Budhani to spread the message of God. They took him into a Hindu center, and beat him on his head, legs and neck with chains.

The man was savagely tortured for five hours, with the use of chains, rods, sickles and shoes. The attackers then rubbed alcohol on his bleeding wounds and forced him to undress and to drink urine. They then took his clothes to hide the traces of their crime and wrote a false statement accusing the man of having offered thousands of rupees for forced conversions. The extremists have also tried to make him insult the name of God, with electrical shocks and threatened to throw him on railroad tracks. But the religious man refused and answered: "Kill me, but I will never insult the name of God."

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