India: Pastor hold on to his faith even when extremists try to burn him alive

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An Indian pastor undergoes a deadly attack, yet started praying and worshiping Lord Jesus Christ. The incident took place in India’s Maharashtra state, when religious extremists severely beaten a pastor, and tried to burn him alive. The extremists left him in a severely injured state and absconded.

Christians persecuted in India

Details emerged that 45-year-old, Pastor Prashant Bhatnager, has been severely tortured and is still recovering from broken hand, arm and leg bones. The bashing has left several cuts, bruises and abrasions on his entire body. He was attacked by six extremists on September 16, when they beat himself relentlessly and urinated on him.

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Pastor Bhatnager and four other Christians were attacked when they were praying for a sick man, in Taloja, Raigad District. The extremists reportedly questioned these Christians, snatched their possessions and took them to a local public hall, where they remained detained for two hours. After two hours, another extremist showed up and started threatening the Christians to kill them.

Later the other four Christians were released but the pastor was kept detained. “The extremists started beating him as they accused him of forceful conversion and then sped up the car and took him away to an isolated place, followed by another 20 extremists on 11 motorbikes,” a local area church leader stated.

They brought him to an isolated area and dragged him out of the car and beat him with an iron rod. They accused him to converting people to Christianity and forcing people to believe in Christ. “They pulled me out from the car and pushed me to the ground while they pointed a revolver at me, snatched my phone away and threatened to take my life. All of them started beating me, and I started to bleed form my mouth and nose,” the victim said.

After beating him, the extremists sprinkled gasoline over him to burn him alive. “I was fearful, and I started feeling convulsive, but then and there I started praising Jesus and praying, and my attackers became angrier as they continued to beat, kick and punch me, told me to shut up, spat on my face and urinated on me. How I survived such an attack is miraculous. I see the love and the faithfulness of God more through this incident,” he said.

He went unconscious extremists took him to a place near his village and dropped his body there thinking that he had died. A passer-by found him in an unconscious state, poured water on his face and revived him, after which the pastor called his friends. His friends rushed to the place and took him to the hospital for medical treatment.