INDIA | Son Pledges to Continue Father's Ministry

Source:                www.cswusa.org

Date:                      May 24, 2021

 

 
 
 
 
INDIA | Son Pledges to Continue Father's Ministry
 
5.24.2021
Indian Pastor Alok Rajhans of the Christo Seva Ghar (Christ Service House) was killed in an attack in his church in Luasingha village, Bolangir district, in India’s Odisha state on May 20.
 
According to a local source, the attack on the pastor occurred between 5-6 p.m. and involved approximately five perpetrators from the same village. Pastor Rajhans, 55, is survived by his wife Subhashini and son Ujjwal Prakash Rajhans, 28.
 
CSW sources report a group of unidentified people had been hurling stones at the church since May 19, which continued to the next day. On May 20, Pastor Rajhans was in the church building with some of his congregants when he noticed people pelting stones at the church. He asked his church members to return to their homes before confronting the perpetrators. They were reportedly infuriated when the pastor raised his voice. It is believed the perpetrators were looking for an opportunity to cause further trouble.
 
The assailants proceeded to attack Pastor Rajhans with rods, stones and knives. The pastor’s wife also sustained injuries to her arm when she tried to intervene to stop their attempts to stab her husband. In the midst of the attack, Pastor Rajhans reportedly was struck in the back of the head with an unidentified object.
 
The pastor’s son, who was away at the time of the attack, took him to a government hospital in Bolangir District for medical treatment where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the medical staff.
 
While the police forensic team are investigating, post-mortem results are not readily available. It is believed two of the perpetrators who were believed to be linked to the attack have been arrested; however, it is unclear whether they are in custody, as local sources believe they have been released. A First Information Report (FIR), required by the police to start an investigation, was registered in this case.
 
Subhashini has remained in the family home in the village, while the pastor’s son, Ujjwal, informed local sources he will continue in his father’s ministry despite the family tragedy.
 
Twelve Christian families live in Luasingha village, which is dominated by supporters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
 
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said, “We express our deepest condolences to Pastor Rajhans’ family and the wider Christian community in Luasingha. This gruesome attack demonstrates the appalling plans at play to rid the village of Christians. Minorities in India are often subjected to harassment and fear simply for exercising their freedom of religion or belief. Perpetrators of such violent acts should not be allowed to enjoy impunity for their crimes. We urge the authorities to apprehend the attackers and to ensure that those who act behind the scenes to perpetrate hate and intolerance are brought to justice.”

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