Pastor Beaten, Attackers Escape in India as Church Leaders Call on Modi to Address Persecution of Christians
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The Evangelical Fellowship of India called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the problem of rising persecution against Christians in his country, after a pastor was dragged from a prayer meeting by members of a nationalist organization.
Several Christians on their way to a private prayer meeting at the house of Pastor Raju Prassad in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India were accosted on July 28th by members of Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the ultra-nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that seeks a homogeneous Hindu India.
The radicals beat and verbally abused the Christians before setting their sights on Prassad, who was badly beaten first at his house and then at the Police station in Chakeri after police called to the scene arrested him on charges of “forced conversion,” allowing the perpetrators to go free when an investigation proved everyone at the house had already been a believer.
According to an Evangelical Fellowship of India report published in February, violence against Christians tripled in Uttar Pradesh between 2018 and 2017, with 82 more incidents in 2018 than in the previous year.
Altogether, the report documented 325 and 351 violent incidents against Christians across India in 2018 and 2017 respectively, each tally about twice as high as the number of incidents in any given year between 2012 and 2015—the year after the election to power of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Many Christians feel the rise of Christian persecution in India is commensurate with the rise of the BJP since 2014, and that the tacit support of Modi’s party for right-wing radical organizations is the impetus behind India rising 11 spots on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List over the last 5 years.