Tribal animists in central India who demolished a pastor’s house and drove him and his family out of their village in March seriously injured him in an assault this month, he said.
After beating, choking and pelting pastor Lalu Kirade with a stone in the April 3 attack, the tribal villagers in Khandwa District, Madhya Pradesh threatened to destroy his vocal chords as one of the assailants put her foot on his throat, he said.
“They had sprung on me like a pack of wild dogs,” Pastor Kirade told Morning Star News. “They told me to call upon my God to come and rescue me.”
Among the assailants was the man who began the assault on him in March for refusing to abandon Christianity, identified only as Laxman. In the most recent assault, the six men and two women of one extended family ambushed the 29-year-old pastor as he returned from a grocery shop near the yard where his family is living under the open sky three miles from his former home in Bilood village, he said.
They hit and kicked him, pulled his ears, dragged him by the hair and uttered profanity about Christianity and Christ, the pastor said, besides robbing him of rupees equivalent to US $51.
The pastor went to the Pandhana police station in Khandwa District, where officers told him to go to Jhirniya police station in Khargone District, 22 miles away. He reached the Jhirniya police station at 9 p.m., still bleeding.
“The police have been very non-cooperative,” he said. “The policeman was constantly demanding monetary favor from me, and when I refused, he got very upset with me.”
Using vulgar language as he reviled him, the officer insisted that he mention only Laxman and his wife in the complaint, the pastor said.
“The policeman did not write the complaint according to what I narrated to him, but instead he changed it wherever he wanted to,” Pastor Kirade said.
No action followed the complaint he had filed in March at Pandhana police station about the first assault, which led to the assailants having no hesitation to attack him again this month, the pastor said.
Likewise, he said, Jhirniya police have taken no action against Laxman and his relatives.
India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position has worsened since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.