Five arrested in attacks on Bible students in India

By February 24, 2005

India (MNN/HT) — Police have arrested five men in the wake of last Sunday’s vicious attack against six Gospel for Asia Biblical Seminary students. The attackers were arrested after a raid conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police. The police also seized the three-wheeler taxicabs used in the abductions.

The Hindustan Times reported that those arrested were affiliated with the RSS, an armed militant Hindu group hostile to Christianity and other religious minorities. Leaders call for a purely Hindu nation.

The seminary students had been regularly visiting a community of laborers, praying for the sick, caring for the needy, sharing the love of Christ and offering hope. 70-percent of the family problems in this community are directly related to poverty, drug use and alcohol addiction. As a result of their regular visits and compassionate outreach, people’s hearts were beginning to respond.

“The ministry there was bringing fruitful results due to our students’ continuous visits,” says a GFA field correspondent.

In the weeks before the attack, RSS men had previously warned the seminary students to stop witnessing in this area. When the students arrived at a bus stop last Sunday, a gang of men began abusing and assaulting them before pushing them into auto rickshaws (three-wheeled taxis) and driving them to a secluded location, where they were repeatedly beaten. All the students suffered from internal pain and headaches, some severe. One was diagnosed with a broken left eardrum and facial bruising.

The students continue to recover from their injuries in a local hospital. According to a visiting GFA pastor, “Their heads are still hurting from getting hit so hard.”

In response to the arrests, the Chennai Online news service reported that India’s National Commission of Minorities (NCM) will investigate the attacks.

The students are expected to return to the seminary later this week and rejoin their classes.

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