Evangelical leader sustained multiple injuries after extremists ran bikes over him

Published Monday, March 09, 2020  |  
John FredricksA group of Christians meet together near their rebuilt church in Kandhamal.

A 48-year-old evangelical leader in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh was seriously injured after a group of armed Hindu extremists attacked him and ran their bikes over him on March 3.

Around 10 extremists approached Isaac Paulose, Madhya Pradesh coordinator of the New India Evangelistic Association, when he was in his car, around 300 meters away from his house.

At first, one of the extremists stopped Paulose's car and asked the evangelical leader to come out of the car.

According to Uttar Kumar Deep, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church of Christian Evangelistic Assemblies (CEA) Sehore, Paulose was not aware of the intentions of the extremist and stepped out of the car. Then suddenly other extremists joined the biker and began to beat Paulose with bamboo logs and a thick metal chain with a heavy lock on it.

"When he lay on the ground half-dead, they drove their bikes, five in number, one after another over him, injuring him further and breaking his rib," pastor Deep told Morning Star News. "They scorned and taunted him, asking him to call on the name of Jesus. They also threatened to kill him if he continues to 'convert' people."

According to sources, Paulose was taken to a local government hospital at first and later moved to Bhopal Fracture Hospital for appropriate treatment.

Paulose received two stitches at the back of his head, and one stitch on his forehead. He sustained multiple fractures and underwent two surgeries on his left hand. One of his ribs was fractured, and doctors said that nothing can be done and that he need to take a lot of rest for the rib to heal by itself.

"Brother Isaac's condition was very bad when he was brought to Bhopal," said Hemant Lal, a Christian leader from Bhopal. But Paulose' faith amazed Lal. "I was amazed at his faith. He told me he was not scared, and that there will be difficulties in doing the Lord's work, but that he was glad that he suffered for the name of Jesus."

Though conversion is legal in India, radical Hindus often attack Christians on false accusations, and make no distinction between conversion and illegal forcible conversion.