There are disturbing reports coming from the northern India which detail the premeditated attack and assault of a Christian preacher and his daughter.
The pastor, referred to as Raju, was trained by Michigan-based Mission India and was in his home with other worshipers when the attack allegedly took place. Reports indicated that they were confronted by a mob of around 20 Hindu radicals.
Dave Stravers of Mission India, explained that he received word that the attackers broke into Raju's home. The mob then began to ransack his home with clubs and other weapons. After destroying his possessions the attackers then focused their brutality on Raju, and then his daughter after she questioned her attacker's motives.
After the attack, the Hindu radicals took Raju and wife to a nearby Hindu temple and forced then to worship the idols of the temple.
"Persecution is a growing reality in India … They smeared vermillion- which is like a finger-paint- on their foreheads and pushed their heads down … and forced them to worship the idols in the temple," Stravers told Mission News Network. He added that the persecution "is a pretty typical thing; it happens quite often in India."
Stravers revealed that a partner with Mission India stated that the mob could have been tipped off by one of Raju's non-Christian relatives.
He also said these occurrences are becoming more frequent. When there is a mob mentality, the Christians targeted with aggression go into hiding for a few weeks. After the chaos subsides, believers quietly resume their work.
"After a few weeks, people realize that these Christians aren't a threat and that they're actually bringing good to the communities," Stravers said. "Ideally, Raju will go back to his ministry, and the church will start worshipping again."
But Stravers also highlighted the need for Christians to pray for Raju and his family as well as the other Christians who face uncertain and turbulent times.
"We need to pray that they will take courage, that they will receive comfort and support from other believers … Pray also that the Gospel would continue moving forward in India," Stravers said.