11/02/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, a pastor in India’s Bihar state was forced to flee from his home village after being attacked by radical Hindu nationalists. The radicals reportedly used violence, threats, and other forms of opposition to drive this pastor out of his home and shut down his church.
On September 28, Pastor Raj Masih was attacked by 25 radical Hindu nationalists as he was purchasing vegetables from the market in Simri village. The radical reportedly surrounded Pastor Masih and took him to a secluded location where they savagely beat him.
“The dragged me for about a kilometer as they shouted and abused me in extremely filthy language,” Pastor Masih told Morning Star News. Once in a secluded area, the radicals punched Pastor Masih in the stomach, kicked his chest, and struck his back with fists and shoes.
“They kept repeating, ‘Stop Christian prayers. Shut down your church. If we see you conducting prayers, we will not spare you alive,’” Pastor Masih told Morning Star News. “They kicked me very hard on my chest.”
“I returned home bruised that night,” Pastor Masih continued. “My children saw me and were frightened. Since we lost my wife to COVID-19 in April this year, I am all they have.”
Following the attack, Pastor Masih decided to take the extreme step of leaving the village and temporarily halting his ministry.
“For the first time in nine years of ministry in Sirmi, I took this extreme step of taking a break from the Lord’s work there,” Pastor Masih told Morning Star News. “My children, ages 12, 9, and 7, have missed their school for more than a month now, but I thought it is enough if I am alive for them. I need to care and provide for them.”
Even though Pastor Masih left the village and halted his ministry, the radicals continued to harass him and his congregation. The radicals continued to send Pastor Masih threats through text messages and phone calls. Videos of Pastor Masih praying or sharing the Gospel were regularly posted on social media accompanied by posts urging Hindus to resist Christian preachers.
“The believers are very scared to gather,” Pastor Masih told Morning Star News about his congregation in Sirmi. “For now, it is only an attack on me, threats, and warnings, but they are afraid this will be followed by the worse. There have been past cases of brutal attacks and murders of pastors and believers in Bihar.”
“I do not know when we will be able to return to Simri,” Pastor Masih explained to Morning Star News. “We are waiting on the Lord to make a way for us. The worship services stopped completely in Simri.”
Across India attacks on Christians and their places of worship continue to be reported in greater number and severity. According to a report recently released by human rights activists, over 300 attacks on Christians have been documented in the first nine months of 2021. If this trend continues, 2021 will go down as the most violent year experienced by Christians in India’s modern history.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].
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