India: Hindu Extremists Attack Pastor
Weeks after a pastor led five families to faith in Christ in southern India, masked men on motorbikes intercepted him on his way home from worship and tried to kill him, sources said.
Pastor Banothu Sevya, 26, was in a coma for 48 hours after the drunken Hindu extremists beat him in Govindapuram, on the outskirts of Jamandlapalli village in Telangana state, last month. They had threatened him twice before, he said.
“But I didn’t pay attention, knowing that when the Lord’s work is taken up, there will be hurdles, and I never complained the police officials,” Pastor Sevya told Morning Star News.
In their prior threats, the assailants had accused him of fraudulent or forcible conversion, asking how he lured Banjara tribal people and what he told them, he said.
“I told them, ‘I only share the gospel, that we are all sinners, and this world is to come to an end some day. Only Jesus Christ can cleanse us from the sins. He was crucified for our sake, and rose again to present us eternal life. I ask them if there is life in the rocks, trees and water – why worship them?'”
Pastor Sevya said he told them he spoke to every person individually when they came to ask him about Christ.
“Most Banjaras say they get afflicted by evil spirits,” he said. “They want them to be sent away. Some want to be healed, some need the Lord’s help in their pursuits to get educated. I share the gospel and pray for them. We witnessed the Lord doing miracles among them. He does not forsake anyone who comes to Him.”
Pastor Sevya first preached Christ in Jangi Thanda, a village in Govindapuram, at the request of a relative. When five families came to Christ, he had been as astonished as anyone.
India is ranked 15th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of the countries where Christians experience the most persecution.