By Matters India Reporter
Bettiah: A group of people on February 27 assaulted a Pentecostal pastor and his companions in West Champaran district of Bihar, eastern India.
The attackers accused the pastor of indulging in religious conversion, the police said.
The pastor and team from Bagaha town in the same district traveled in a bus to attend a special prayer meeting at the Protestant Saint Paul’s church in Bettiah, Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant told reporters.
When the bus reached the stand in Bettiah, a co-passenger attacked the pastor alleging that he was converting people. The attacker also rang up others asking them to reach the bus stand, the police said.
Pastor Palanivelu, zonal superintendent with GEMS Mission organization, their missionary co-worker D. Joseph traveled to Bettiah with 13 believers.
The GEMS official told Persecution Relief, which monitors persecution of Christians in India, that the Christian team shared gospel with a co-passenger, who had affiliations with Hindu radical group. He them started shouting at the Christians and questioned their reasons for abandoning their former religion.
“The irate passenger, alerted members of the fundamental group, and as soon as the bus reach Bettiah Bus station, a huge crowd of fanatics were waiting for the unsuspecting believers,” said Shibu Thomas of Persecution Relief told Matters India.
Joseph and the team got down, but the man continued to shout abuses and threats. The radicals isolated Joseph and another team memberBaldev Singh, a hearing impaired person, and beat them up.
No one came to their rescue when the Christian team cried for help. “The Traffic police hearing the cries tried to rescue them but was overpowered by the mob. Additional Police back-up was requested to get the situation under control,” Thomas explained.
The two Christians were taken to a hospital and police have recorded their statements. Police refused to file a case. However, a Medico Legal Case was filed against unknown people.
Kant said the attackers had managed to escape when his team reached the spot. The police, however, brought the situation under control.
An FIR was finally registered and further action would be initiated if the pastor or anyone of his group registers a complaint, the police officer said, adding those involved in the attack would not be spared.