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Pastor Hari Shankar Ninama
Photo from Compass Direct

A 65-year-old pastor was recently the victim of a brutal assault by Hindu militants in Rajasthan state, India. On February 1, Pastor Hari Shankar Ninama was visiting his daughter in Ambarunda when her neighbor requested he pray for his 8-year-old son, who was ill. While Pastor Hari was praying, at least 10 Hindu militants stormed into the home. The militants beat the pastor, used abusive language against him and accused him of forcibly converting people. They also slapped his daughter and beat the sick boy's father. The militants forced the pastor onto a motorbike and drove to a location outside the village. There, they stripped off the pastor's clothes and beat him with wooden clubs. They threatened to kill him if he continued to spread Christianity. After stealing his watch, cell phone and a small amount of money, they fled, leaving him naked on the road. He walked five miles to the police station, where he filed a report. He was hospitalized and released on February 11, emotionally traumatized and still suffering bodily pain.

When the militants reportedly threatened to burn down the home of the pastor's daughter if police prosecute, the family dropped the investigation. The attack has caused fear among Christians in the village, and Pastor Hari's church has not held services since he was attacked. Pastor Hari, however, has said that even in his feeble state, he is determined to evangelize and pray for people wherever and whenever called.

Pray Pastor Hari will find strength in the tenderness and lasting care of his Heavenly Father as he recovers. Praise the Lord for his steadfast faith and commitment to sharing Christ, even amid great opposition. Pray God's protection on him and his family. Pray a spirit of power, love and trust, not fear, will govern Christians in this area and throughout India (2 Timothy 1:7).

You can learn more about the trials facing followers of Christ in India at the India Country Report.