India: Hindu nationalist police severely beat up pastor
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Hindu nationalist police officers in India’s Uttar Pradesh state severely beat up a pastor after arresting him for singing a hymn on the roof of his home during a family devotional in April, Morning Star News (MSN) reports.
On April 22, Pastor Pravesh Kumar of Amamahua was visiting Christian relatives in Bhais Khur village, when the family decided to have a time of worship and prayer on the roof of the house, MSN reports. A Hindu neighbor took a video of the group singing hymns, and called the police.
The police arrived and interrogated Pastor Kumar and accused him of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity.“They completely ignored the fact that the family we were visiting were all followers of Christ,” Kumar told MSN.
Kumar was taken to Bijauli police station where arresting officers tied him to a tree, and demanded that he shout worship slogans to various Hindu gods. When he refused, the officers beat and whipped him, and cursed him in foul language. “I was beaten so brutally on my legs that they swelled up, and I was not able to walk,” Kumar said.
When Kumar’s uncle attended the police station to plead for his nephew’s release, he too was beaten, MSN said. Kumar and his uncle were then charged under the Indian Penal Code for “five or more assembling and disturbing public peace,” “abetment” and “abetting commission of offense.” They were brought before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate court in Lalganj, Azamgarh District and were released on bail pending trial.
Persecution against Christians in India has intensified dramatically since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in 2014.
India now ranks 10th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted; prior to the rise to power of the BJP party nearly 10 years ago it had ranked 31st.
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