Date: December 4, 2019
India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, the family of a Christian pastor was brutally assaulted by a mob last month in Bagwala village, located in India’s Uttarakhand state. The attack left the pastor’s father, mother, brother, and wife severely injured.
Pastor Sawan Pol, age 28, leads a small independent church called Jesus’ Followers’ Holy Gathering in Bagwala. According to Morning Star News, there were 15 Christian families living in Bagwala until a Hindu “holy man” arrived about a year ago. This holy man demanded that all Bagwala’s villagers must convert to Hinduism and revere him. He went on to threaten to harm those that resisted him with black magic.
“All the Christian families, for fear of the Baba, returned to the Hindu faith,” a former Christian from Bagwala told Morning Star News. “He threatened me with fatal consequences if I ever went to church again. Baba said that he would harm my children using his black magic, and at no cost can I risk my children’s lives. I am very scare for the safety of my family, and I asked my husband as well to stop going to church.”
According to Morning Star News, Pastor Pol’s family is the last Christian family in Bagwala. For this reason, the family was attacked on November 8 by a mob of 60 to 70 villagers.
Pastor Pol was away on a ministry visit when the attack took place, so the mob turned their fury on the pastor’s family. According to Pastor Pol, the mob broke into his family’s home and beat his father, mother, wife, and 10-year-old brother.
“Some men were wearing boots – they kicked my litter brother on his private parts with the boots on their feet and injured him so badly that he still cries with severe pain every time he urinates,” Pastor Pol told Morning Star News.
“They beat my father, mother, and wife in such a way that they would not profusely bleed,” Pastor Pol continued. “They have sustained much internal injury. My father and mother are unable to walk. My father is not able to breath normally after he was beaten on his chest.”
According to Morning Star News, Pastor Pol reported the incident to local police at the Rudrapur police station. However, instead of filing a formal complaint and taking action against the assailants, the police spoke with Bagwala’s traditional village leader and allowed the leader to “mediate” a resolution between Pastor Pol and the villagers that attacked his family. To date, no formal police complaint has been filed by police.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for healing for all of the injured family members. Pray for those who participated in this attack to come to know Christ. Pray for Pastor Sawan Pol to be an effective witness in his community.