Pastor and his Team Brutally Hit With Metal Poles in Rajasthan

Published 24 August 2017  |  
(PHOTO: BACA)
Pastor Harjot Sethi

A pastor was severely beaten during a Gospel outreach in Dabli Rathan, a village in Hanumangarh District, Rajasthan. The pastor, his wife and a team of outreach members were attacked by the Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Pr Harjot Sethi of Christ Power Ministry Society said that men from the fundamentalist group armed with metal poles and thick wooden sticks had visited the outreach program as spectators. When he began preaching, the group attacked him and his team, and slapped his wife Arvinderjot Sethi several times, according to Christians in Pakistan.

In the midst of violence, the pastor's wife figured a way out and ran to the local police station. With the help of the local church members and villagers, the police arrested the men, who were later identified as members of RSS.

It was noted that the extremists group visited the village with the intent of killing Pr Sethi. However, the intervention of the believers and other villagers had helped to secure the pastor's life.

"I thought I would die when these men came rushing at me as soon as I started speaking and I was hit on the head. I passed out temporarily which only excited the RSS goons more I am told. The attackers started beating me more intensely whilst I was on the floor," said Sethi.

He suffered serious head injuries and has broken his leg.

Sethi's mother said, "My Son was simply sharing God's message of hope through accepting Christ our Lord and Saviour. The hooligans waited for him to start speaking and rushed to kill him. They were armed with weapons and were beating him hard and any others that tried to stop the violence. I was terrified and had to watch from afar unable to do anything."

"I feared for his life but God protected my son who survived the vicious attack despite being hit on his head with thick metal poles. I praise God for his mercy and protection," she added.

Sethi said that he doubts if the perpetrators of the violence will be prosecuted because the Police were initially impatient with him and wanted to close the case by letting the RSS opponents go free.

"Initially the police seemed to only want to restore peace and were reticent to take action against the perpetrators. So my colleagues asked me to produce videos about the attack and we shared them on social media to galvanise support for justice," he said

Christians in India are suffering an increasing amount of animosity since the BJP rule in 2014.

"Life is becoming increasingly untenable and we pray for change to come," Sethi added.

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