06/17/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – On June 13, a pastor and his pregnant wife were attacked by radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Tamil Nadu state. According to local sources, the attack on the Christian couple was the latest attempt by radicals to shut down the local church.
On June 13, Pastor Jeevanandam and his wife were confronted by Manibannan and Nagaraj, two members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and two other unidentified men after Sunday worship at Omega Church in the Salem District. The situation quickly turned violent when Manibannan broke into the church and began to beat Pastor Jeevanandam.
The other radicals joined Manibannan and stripped Pastor Jeevanandam of his shirt while they continued to beat the pastor. Pastor Jeevanandam’s pregnant wife attempted to protect her husband and was pushed aside, stripped, and beaten on the legs with a wooden stick.
“Although there are no visible injuries, my wife was traumatized by the aggressive attack,” Pastor Jeevanandam told International Christian Concern (ICC). “I was terrified when the men started to strip my nine-month pregnant wife and beat her with sticks. Praise God nothing serious happened. She is out of danger.”
Pastor Jeevanandam has overseen worship at Omega Church for the past four years and 30 Christians regularly attend worship in a makeshift hall. Members of the RSS have threatened the Christian couple in the past and have attempted to shut down Omega Church to remove any trace of Christianity in the village.
Pastor Jeevanandam filed a complaint against the attackers and a First Information Report (FIR # 289) was registered against Manibannan and Nagaraju. Both were arrested by local police and sent to jail.