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Pastor Ramesh Devda
(Photo: Compass Direct)

Hindu militants recently beat Ramesh Devda, 30, a pastor and evangelist, in Madhya Pradesh state, India. On April 4, Pastor Ramesh was travelling by motorbike with his two sons from Chikklia to Raseda when three militants on motorbikes suddenly blocked his way. The militants, drunk and armed with large bamboo sticks and clubs, beat the pastor in front of 10-year-old Elias and 8-year-old Shimon. They threatened to kill Pastor Ramesh and warned him not to come to the area again. They delivered brutal blows all over his body, including his head. The terrified cries of the young boys alerted people passing by to the situation. When others arrived on scene, the attackers fled. At last report, Pastor Ramesh was in the hospital receiving care for severe injuries, including a fractured skull. He was thankful that his sons were spared from beating, though his older son sustained a leg injury during the attack.

Pastor Ramesh, who serves with the Christian Reformed Fellowship of India in three villages, suspects his attackers were Hindu militants angered by his Sunday worship services. Although he believes the attack was pre-planned, he does not want to report it to the police, as he fears retaliation.

Ask God to heal Pastor Ramesh. Pray a spirit of trust in the Lord will guard his heart and mind against fear. Pray for guidance and safety for his wife and children, who are also active in Christian ministry. Pray Christians in India will look to the God of truth as their righteous refuge and tower of strength (Psalm 31:1-5).

You can learn more about Christians in India serving as cross-bearing disciples at the India Country Report.