Pastor attacked in Bihar for ‘religious conversion’

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.

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5 thoughts on “Pastor attacked in Bihar for ‘religious conversion’

  1. The attack on the Pastor appears to be self – invited. The missionaries and pastors are always found to be in deep love (?) with poor and illiterate in India when there are already so many such people among Christians remaining unattended. I have always maintained that evangelisation should be done among rich and highly educated people, instead of luring poor and illiterate with different means. This leaves the poor and illiterate people in greater trouble. Actually, the subject of evangelisation needs to be debated publicly.

  2. Both Chhotebai and George Nedumparambil are talking logic that we shouldn’t force anybody to hear the gospel. Even JESUS said that he is knocking at the door, not kicking at the door to open by force.

    The readers have full right to make their open opinion. I had many personal healing in life. At age 10, my Dad thought of calling the carpenter to make a coffin for me because I was at the last stage to death due to yellow jaundice. With tears, my parents and uncle got around the bed and asked me to pray for healing. They held me to pray. I prayed a very simple prayer to heal me, smiled at them, then slept for hours. Starting next day, I began to feel better.

    My Dad called the neighbors for a thanks giving prayer and asked me to stand a say ” JESUS healed me”. I know my Dad’s hot temper, if I don’t say, I may get some hot spanking. From the very younger age, I have stood up in the local junctions to tell about JESUS CHRIST who became like a personal friend walking with me. I have several other healing after this life and death crisis.

    While in college from 1962-66, my nick name was ” Evangelist “. Nobody did that at college, but some power was driving me to distribute gospel tracts-gospel portions-New Testaments to my friends. Everybody received and most of them read. We had Muslims-Hindus and Christians in the College. Only once, one Hindu student got angry with me, at the Orthodox Church owned College. I told him that nobody is bothered, you are the only one got bothered, why? He didn’t answer me anything but turned his face. He has avoided me all the times.

    To my surprise, some of the Hindu friends who got the Christian literature from me became followers of CHRIST later on through their association with the people of their work place.

    If we are taking a silent attitude of not sharing the personal experience of peace and joy with others, that is pure sadism and selfishness. On the other hand, if we are chasing somebody who is not ready to hear the good news, that is not the right way of evangelism.

    Today I talked with a Facebook friend in Mumbai. We were friends for the last two years, he began to read my writing touching the economic issues facing India. He mentioned JESUS in his comments. How with a Hindu name mentioning JESUS? He told me his personal experience that he was a very successful Marathi businessman in Udaipore. Lost the business and in great depression, rejected by the family. While passing through an area in Udaipore, some students from the local Philadelphia Bible College were preaching the gospel. He stood there and listened, one sentence of hope from the preacher struck his heart. He asked them more questions, and they told him to visit the Church on Sunday. He and his family became followers of CHRIST, got educated at the Bible College and now he is a missionary in Mumbai. Quite surprising that I knew the founder and financier of the Bible College personally.

    He told me that hundreds of people are coming to follow JESUS CHRIST mainly from the Hindu background. In Kalyan where the Sindhi community is very strong, there are many Churches with cross which was not seen two decades back. What is the power behind this? Do we need to share this good news to the peace-seeking people?

  3. Having a driving licence does not give me the liberty to drive as I please. There are traffic regulations. So too, even if we claim that preaching is a right, we also have a duty to tread cautiously. In a communally surcharged atmosphere discretion is the better part of valour. As is written in the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything. Jesus also advised his followers to read the signs of the times.

    Besides some fundamentalist Christians denigrate other religions and their deities or practices. This is inviting trouble. These self same evangelists then go complaining to their masters overseas about religious persecution. This makes their motives suspect.

  4. All what you stated are valued comments but that is no excuse for us to push our beliefs down the throat of unsuspecting and uneducated simpletons or in areas such attempts are prohibited from exercising. Best way to promote Christianity is to demonstrate to the world how well we live. The less said the better when it comes to our own house. With multiple factions that often can’t see eye to eye and with a large number of the least, last and suffering poor amongst us, what right do have to venture out to liberate others. First set right our own house to be neighbors’ envy. People will come to us on their own. Otherwise, somebody will call our bluff that is as, Jesus said, that we convert and leave them twice as miserable. Good day brother.

  5. The gospel of CHRIST can change lives to be peaceful and happy. Those people who got that happiness will naturally share with others what they have found in JESUS CHRIST. The sharing of the gospel should not be anyway forceful. This right is clearly Stated in the UN Charter for all the member nations of the UN.

    Bihar is one of the poorest States of India. Take the Indian States where more Christian are located: there are more schools-colleges-hospitals and a better standard of living. Why?
    The gospel of JESUS CHRIST not only transform our attitude to be positive and happy, but the society will be changed by the united efforts of the changed people.

    It is too sad that for sharing the good news that JESUS can bring peace and joy, they were attacked. But, the attackers will come to CHRIST one day, that is history. While reading the history of great Christian soldiers like Saul turned Paul in the Bible, we can reconfirm the fact that JESUS is living. I have met some young people in Trivandrum years back, they said that they got the Bibles from the preachers but was burning the Bible. But, they lost the sleep and peace, finally had to call upon JESUS for peace.

    Recently I watched in Youtube, one Ram Babu from Karnataka, who was such an anti-Christian; and how through watching a physical miracle of his Muslim friend’s sister from total deafness in the local Church, he became a believer in CHRIST. Now he is travelling all over India and around the world to proclaim the gospel. Another personal friend of mine, Anil Kant, the recording artists from Mumbai. When I asked him and his wife while we were in Chicago a few years back, how they came to know JESUS, he answered me that he wanted instant peace and joy. Read a passage from the Bible what JESUS said ” I am the way, the truth and life”. Prayed a simple prayer of confession and his life was changed. While watching the changed life of Anil, his wife Rena came to believe in JESUS CHRIST. They found peace and joy through JESUS and telling that all over India and the world. Can anybody stop these people through physical attack?

    These attackers in Bihar will meet JESUS face to face one day.

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