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Kidnapped Pastor Rescued by Fellow Believers in India

An evangelical pastor who was beaten and kidnapped by Hindu militants in Bangalore was freed by a group of Christians who were alerted of the incident and took immediate action.

Sajan George, president of the Bangalore-based Global Council of Indian Christians, a major advocacy group, confirmed that Pastor Mark Jaikumar, 43, was kidnapped late Saturday and taken on a bus by Hindu radicals. He was later drugged and driven to Shakleshpur, about 130 km from the city.

The militants were planning to bring the pastor to a Hindu pilgrimage center. During the ride, however, Jaikumar became conscious and contacted GCIC members via a cell phone from a fellow passenger, George reported.
"Our people rushed to the place where he was held, and brought him back home," the Christian leader stated. According to George, Jaikumar returned Sunday, Aug. 26, at about 4:30 a.m. local time,

It was amid heightened attacks on Christians in the country that Jaikumar, founder pastor of Devine Gospel Church whose ministry cares for 65 orphans, was allegedly kidnapped at around 8 p.m. Saturday near his residence in Chelekere (Kalyan Nagar), near the Ring Road in Bangalore city.

The kidnapping also came two days after he escaped a murder attempt.

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, at about 10 p.m. at the night, the pastor along with his wife and some believers from Bangalore visited the orphanage that he manages for their weekly evening prayer. While the believers were in prayer, a group of about five Hindu radicals reportedly rushed into the orphanage and kidnapped the pastor, tying his mouth with a piece of cloth. The attackers then took the pastor to a nearby mango garden, where they stripped him and beat him.

After beating Jaikumar, one of the attackers reportedly took a big stone to crush the pastor's head. The attackers were stopped, however, when they suddenly saw a motor bike approaching them and – thinking that someone was following them – left the pastor and ran away.

After the beating, the pastor managed to reach the orphanage and informed the other members. On Thursday, the pastor visited Doddabalavangala Police Station and lodged a complaint.

Jaikumar was still suffering from internal injuries, swelling etc., when he was kidnapped two days later.

After the pastor's return, GCIC's George said: "The pastor is currently unfit to answer more questions."

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