By Anthony Gutierrez
After his hut was burned by Hindu extremists two weeks earlier, Pastor Ram Parkash was knocked off his motorcycle by three men who pursued him on motorcycles.
Shouting obscenities and reviling Jesus, the attackers beat him savagely as he lay on the ground on March 24.
“So finally, we are able to get hold of the Christian man who has been roaming around converting people to Christianity,” one attacker growled, according to Morning Star News.
Pastor Prakash sustained broken bones, abrasions and other injuries before police showed up and took him to the local hospital.
Prakash has pastored in Northern India for 15 years. On that fateful March day, he had just visited four Christian families, praying with them in the remote Karoate village in the Uttar Pardesh State. He was returning home on his motorcycle when he realized he was being pursued by hostile motorcyclists.
Prakash tried to evade their pursuit, but one of his attackers hit the back of his motorcycle, which sent him spinning to the ground. The fall injured his right leg. The radicals began yelling at him, threatening him and ordering him to stop talking to people about Jesus. They dismounted from the bikes and began to kick and beat the prone pastor who couldn’t rise because of the pain in his leg.
“The Hindu extremists surrounded me, yelled at me, and they told me never to set foot again in their village and accused me of making people believe in Jesus and telling them not to eat food offered to the idols but rather to eat beef,” Prakash told Morning Star News.
Soon eight other Hindu hardliners arrived to mock, slap, push and kick the pastor, who writhed in pain.
A passer-by wanted to intervene, but the attackers said the pastor had suffered a motorcycle accident. Other onlookers gathered, and one recognized the pastor and called his brother, who brought seven Christians with him to finally rescue Prakash.
After a half hour, police arrived and took Pastor Prakash to a local hospital. But the injuries required more medical capabilities than offered at the village hospital, so he was transferred to the district hospital.
The pastor’s brother told Morning Star that the Hindu toughs exercise an out-sized influence in villages over local authorities.
“The police are under the pressure of the Hindu extremist group, and they are reluctant to register a case against the attackers,” he said.
To the contrary, the assailants submitted a complaint to police, accusing Pastor Prakash of illegal proselytism.
“The accusation they levied against the pastor is completely untrue,” said area Christian leader Santosh Kumar. “People decided to follow Christ under their own free will.”
Previously, approximately 25 Hindu extremists armed with clubs threatened the pastor and ordered him to leave his village. They prohibited worship services and forbade him to speak of Jesus, threatening to seize his land.
When Pastor Prakash and his brother calmly refused, the Hindu extremists beat them and set the pastor’s hut on fire. Its roof and beds and chairs were burned. He and his wife escaped with only minor cuts.
The hate crimes have had a chilling effect on members of the church, Prakash said.
“Because of the constant persecution that we are facing here and in the surrounding areas, many are hesitant to come to the church now,” he said.
This article, written by student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica, was first published on God Reports.