The mother of a Pentecostal pastor in Jaipur, India, was told by four Hindu radicals she must convert to Hinduism or be killed while she was beaten and seriously injured by the group in search of her son and his wife, according to a local news report.
"If you do not convert to Hinduism we will kill you and cut you in pieces," a group of ultra-nationalist Hindus told an elderly Christian as they attacked her at her son's home in Jaipur (Rajasthan), reported AsiaNews. The men were looking for the Rev. Vishaal Behl, a Pentecostal clergyman, and his wife.
The attack came last week when she was alone in her son's house, "which doubles as a prayer room for the Fire of God Ministries, the Pentecostal community he leads," AsiaNews reported.
The woman was injured seriously to the head and arms, according to the news story accompanied by a photo of the injured woman.
The four men came to the door with "faces disguised by helmets." According to the Christian news source, when the intruders found out that Behl and his wife were not at home they broke in and began destroying furnitures.
The group demanded that the woman tell them where her son and daughter-in-law were and began to beat her when she told them she did not know. The Hindu radicals left after neighbors became aware of the activity inside the home.
Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said the beating is symptomatic of "the increasing intolerance and hostility towards Christians, the silence of the authorities and the absence of convictions" for the guilty.
Parliamentary and state assembly elections in the next year portend an increase in attacks as Hindu extremists try to divide voters along religious lines, political researchers say.
"With an eye to the general election of 2014," George said, "Hindutva extremist forces think that fomenting tensions between different communities and inciting society against the Christian minority can help them get votes, even in Rajasthan, a state led by Congress," the country's largest secular party that is in power in the central government.
India's population is 74.3 percent Hindu, 14.2 percent Muslim, 1.9 percent Sikh, 0.82 percent Buddhist, and 5.8 percent Christian, according to Operation World.