A Christian pastor was forced to flee for his life to a nearby forest in the village of Kondri, Madhya Pradesh state in India, after Hindu radicals beat churchgoers at his house church in the middle of prayers.
The pastor, 26-year-old pastor, Chensingh Vasunia, would later find out that the radicals also burned down his home, accusing him of carrying out forceful conversions.
International Christian Concern reported that the group of radicals burst into Vasunia's house church on March 16, leaving two church members seriously injured.
"It was a horrible scene in the house church," the pastor said. "An aggressive mob of Hindu radicals forced themselves into the house where we were praying. They started to beat everyone."
"The situation turned uncontrollable. Blood spilled all over the little room in a dim light."
After he heard someone in the mob shouting "Kill the pastor," he knew his life was in danger.
"I felt very frightened. Sensing the danger, I, along with five others, left the house and ran to the nearby forest," Vasunia explained.
"We were chased by some of the attackers for about two kilometers in the dark. They chased us until they lost the visibility of us.
"The experience in the forest that night was scary. But God was with us as He was with Daniel in the lion's den."
Unharmed from the night in the forest, the next morning they returned to Kondri, where Christian believers warned them that the radicals would continue looking for the pastor.
Vasunia left with his family to a nearby village, but four days after the initial attack he received a phone call from a church member who let him know that his house in Kondri was on fire.
"As expected, the radicals went to my house looking to kill me," the pastor said. "When they didn't find me there, they set fire to the house."
"Everything in the house including household things like clothes, kitchen utensils, and the yearlong crops that we had stored to sell later were destroyed. Although I am a full-time pastor, I worked in the field for a living, and the support was barely sufficient."
The Hindu radicals have filed a police record against Vasunia, accusing him of forced conversions, which is a charge many Christian pastors and church leaders in the country say is used to oppress Christians and stop them from preaching the Gospel.
Vasunia shared his fears that he cannot go back to Kondri because the police are looking to arrest him and the Hindu radicals want him dead.
"If their anger is enough to lead them to burn my house to ashes, they wouldn't hesitate to kill me," he said.
He added that while he is willing to face trial, many times the law in India has not been implemented "in a fair and just manner."
"The police themselves act in favor of Hindu radicals. It has nearly been a month since the attack and things have gotten worse with so many unanswered questions. I trust that God has His best for us as we look into the future," he said.
Attacks against Christians have continued throughout several Indian states in 2018.
Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told AsiaNews earlier this week that there has been a wave of persecution in Kerala state, with burial crosses destroyed, and Christian priests, nuns and students attacked by radicals on separate occasions.
George warned that "the surge in hostile acts and intolerance towards Christians is alarming," adding that hostile forces in society are targeting the missionary work of believers.
The GCIC president also warned that Christians are an "easy target" for extremists.