by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Christians in Bihar state, India are afraid to report attacks by Hindu militant organizations to the police, according to two pastors, one who had his hand and foot fractured when extremists attacked him.
Pastor Shelton Viswanathan, 46, was trailed by assailants on motorbikes on June 23 while on his way to deliver gospel tracts in Sheohar district near the border with Bangladesh and Nepal, where he had felt called to serve in 2003.
“I slowed down my scooter, moved it to the other end of the road and pulled away, but they pushed me with such great force that I fell on the road,” Viswanathan, who pastors a home church of eighteen people, told Morning Star News of the youth, who turned out to be part of the extremist outfit Bajrang Dal and posted an extremist sticker on his scooter after beating him up.
According to Viswanathan, police told friends of his who reported the incident that “their hands are tied and...they cannot take any action.” A second pastor averred that Viswanathan’s experience is reflective of a wider trend.
“Christian persecution is widely spread across Bihar, and it appears to be a much planned, systematic opposition created to target activities,” said Devesh Lal of the Bihar pastors fellowship. “We also see police supporting the perpetrators instead of taking action against them, and the victims do not come forward fearing this bias.”
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and its youth wing, the Bajrang Dal, are guided by a “Hindutva” ideology that seeks to purge India of all non-Hindu spiritual and cultural elements.
They receive tacit government support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bhartiya Janata Party, which was re-elected to another five-year term in May, meaning conventional legal channels are usually barred from Christians.