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Carol team beaten up in Rajasthan 

By Shibu Thomas

Banswara: A group of unidentified people on December 14 attacked a Catholic carol group at Tikariya, a village just outside the Banswara town of Rajasthan state.

Fr Stephen Rawat, parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Banswara who led the carol team, told Matters India the attack took place around 7:45 pm. The parish belongs to Udaipur diocese.

He said his group had finished singing carols at one house and was walking toward their parked vehicle when around 25 young people , hiding in the dark, attacked them with sticks. The attackers did not even spare women and children in the group. They accused the Christians of converting people and shouted “Bharat Mata ki Jai’ (Victory to Mother India), Fr Rawat said.

The priest also said he and four men were wounded in the attack and were admitted in a hospital in Banswara, some 510 km south of Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan state.

Fr Rawat’s complaint

The Catholic priest said he considers it as a privilege to be beaten up for Lord Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ was killed for saving mankind, then why can’t I be beaten up for saving the perishing souls?” he asked.

The priest also said he has forgiven his attackers. “May God speak to them and let them repent from their sins,” he prayed.

He also requested other Christians to pray that the persecution should not discourage his people and that they stay steadfast in their faith until the end.

More than half of the mission stations under Udaipur diocese are in Banswara district. The diocese therefore set up a center in the district headquarters.

In 1979, Fr Antony Vettikatt started the work in Banswara city by staying in a rented house. Later, Fr Varghese Kaipadakunnel bought a plot of land in Tikariya and opened a parish and an English medium school there.

The Mission Sisters of Ajmer help in the parish activities and teach in the school. The parish church was blessed on June 29, 2006, by Bishop Joseph Pathalil.

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8 Responses to Carol team beaten up in Rajasthan

  1. Mathew Chandrankunnel

    My prayers are with you. May the encourage you to bear all this.

  2. Deepa

    You are a true follower of Jesus dear Fr. Stephen. May your courage bring blessings to many more. Praying for our Church.

  3. Milton

    We are praying for you fr.Stephen. This will only increase our resolve and our determination to follow Christ.

  4. Shanthi

    This type of cowardly attitude of trouble mongers of Christian community will increase their faith and beliefs. . Shanthi

  5. chhotebhai

    I salute the courage of this priest, and his calm and forgiving attitude, unlike many other Christian groups who capitalize on persecution events to garner support from evangelicals in the West.

  6. Malini

    Fr. Stephen, praying for you. You are in the right place. I know you will not leave your people orphaned. Sister Malini (your classmate)

  7. William

    The Finance minister was gracious enough to remind Christians of paying taxes when going Christmas Shopping. Hope he said the same thing to peoples of other Religions as well to keep in mind tax-payments while Festal shoppings and celebrations.

  8. Dr Roy Chwdhury

    The attackers are cowards set up by greater cowards who make use of gullible people to push their hidden agenda. Such attacks on innocent and peace loving people will only help thinking people search for the truth behind such attacks… History has shown that where ever Christianity was persecuted, it has flourished. The example of this statement in our times is the phenomenal growth of the church in “Arunachal Pradesh” where right wing forces tried to muzzle and intimidate people who accepted Christianity in 1970s and 1980s.