(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

A visually impaired Christian and his friend have accused drunken Buddhists of abducting and assaulting them. The incident happened on September 1 in the town of Leh in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Christians had been distributing relief aid in the area where flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses and killed around 200 people in early August.

The attackers, identified as members of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), abducted Ram Kumar Thapa, Stanzin Chosphel and his pregnant wife Putali Sherpa because of their Christian faith and beat the men, the victims said. According to the victims' complaints to the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, LBA members were upset that Thapa was preaching Christianity to displaced residents. The assailants took Thapa to the LBA office at the Soma Monastery, where a Buddhist monk was also present, and beat him again. He was then moved to a room where he could hear the voice of his friend, Chosphel, with his wife. The attackers showed Thapa's bruised and bleeding face to Chosphel to warn him against continuing as a Christian. Chosphel confirmed that he and his wife were taken to the LBA office at the monastery. "They dragged me into a room and gagged my mouth so I could not cry out as they beat me with rubber pipes and rods and fists continuously," Chosphel said. "All along they kept telling me to leave my wife and also renounce my faith in Christianity and return to Buddhism." The men released the couple at around 12:30 a.m. after giving them two days to leave Leh or convert to Buddhism, "or else they will chop my wife into pieces and kill me and also kill my family ... who are still practising Buddhists," stated Chosphel. (Source: Compass Direct)

Please pray the Lord will minister to these believers and give them the grace and strength to overcome these attacks. Pray for their physical healing and pray for their protection. Pray also for the perpetrators, for their salvation.

For more information on the challenges facing Christians in India, go to the India Country Report.