Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Open Doors: 2 Pastors Beaten in India

Two Pastors in India Stripped, Beaten – Then Arrested
Police refuse to book attackers; victims detained for ‘forced conversion.’

NEW DELHI, November 29 (Compass Direct News) – About 20 extremists in Karnataka state’s Hassan district on Sunday (November 25) stormed a worship service, dragged out two pastors and another believer, stripped them and beat them after tying them to a pole.

The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that pastors C.J. Joemon and C.J. Jojo and another believer, G. Anil, were attacked while they and about 15 others worshipped at Christ Vision Church, a house church associated with the Indian Pentecostal Church, in Balupette village in the Shakleshpur area.

“At around 10 a.m., at least 20 unidentified Hindu fundamentalists forcefully entered the house church and started abusing the pastors and believers,” Dr. Sajan K. George, national president of the GCIC, told Compass. “The fundamentalists threatened the believers and chased them away.”

After burning the believers’ Bibles, the Hindu extremists stripped Joemon, Jojo and Anil, and dragged them to the village junction about 500 meters away, George said.

“The three Christians were tied to a pole and kicked and punched by the gang,” he added.
The Hindu extremists continued to abuse the Christians till about 2 p.m., when seven policemen arrived and took the three victims to the police station.

“However, instead of protecting the Christians, the police charged the pastors with ‘forced conversion,’” George said, adding that officials refused to give medical aid to the Christians until the GCIC intervened.

The two pastors were later released on bail.

Asked why the attackers were not booked, Constable Krishna Gowda of the Shakleshpur rural police station pleaded ignorance, saying the sub-inspector handling the case was not available.

The Christians refused to press charges against their attackers, saying they had forgiven them. Joemon is 22 years old, and Jojo is 25. The house church started in the area three months ago

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