Situation looks bleak for GFA missionary and students

By August 6, 2008

India (MNN) — A mob of anti-Christian extremists
attacked and brutally beat a Gospel for Asia missionary and three GFA Bible
college students in Karnataka, India. The group of four was then taken to a local police station,
where physical and mental torture continued throughout the night.

The three students, Raj Lohra, Nanji Bir and Shobha
Joshi, and their leader Yohan Samuel, were attacked during a field internship
last week. Approximately 700 people made up the mob, and the attack occurred around
9 p.m. The extremists are said to have the active support of local officials
and political parties.

The believers were charged with attempting to force
people to convert to Christianity and with "offending the sentiments of the
people." Lohra, Bir, Joshi, and Samuel are being held without bail. A GFA leader
headed to the city where the men are being held and will attempt to bail them
out of jail.

The story was picked up by the local media, and the
reports were mostly supportive of the extremists. It was also reported that a
large mob was provoked by the extremists to plan a protest rally against the
Christians. Threats were also made against a team of women GFA missionaries working
in a nearby area, but the women were able to move to a safer place before the
mob could find them.

GFA mission leaders in Karnataka admit that the situation
looks grim for these brothers in Christ.

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