Pastor escapes Hindu extemists

By December 5, 2008

India (MNN) — Last week, Gospel for Asia sent out a report that missionary N. Chauhan had been beaten and abducted by Hindu extremists in Madhya Pradesh, India. The very next day, Chauhan narrowly escaped the clutches of his captors.

Chauhan was questioned about his ministry by extremists in a marketplace, and he was then dragged off to a house to be beaten. After refusing to stomp on the Bible when commanded to do so, Chauhan was beaten several more times.

Concerned about Chauhan's absence, GFA leaders tried to contact him. The extremists had taken his cell phone and answered the call saying, "The same thing is going to happen to you!"

The extremists later attempted to deal with Chauhan by taking him near a road at night to meet their leader. After he had been untied to relieve himself, Chauhan quickly made his escape, running nine miles to the home of another believer and losing his abductors behind him.

Chauhan is now safe, but the unmitigated attack on a believer in India somewhere other than Orissa is disheartening. Anti-Christian attacks, originally thought to be constrained to Orissa state, have been spreading at increasing rates to surrounding areas. Christians have been beaten in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, where a church has also been forcibly shut down. Believers have also been threatened by death in Delhi and Maharashtra for meeting and passing out Christian literature.

This expansion of violence is especially discouraging because, as GFA President K.P. Yohannan puts it, "extremists are becoming more and more brazen in their attacks."

GFA has not lost hope, however, and praises God that Chauhan is safely back. Please continue to pray for the protection of his family, as well as the protection of thousands of other at -risk Christians in India.

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