28 April 2021
A group of radical Hindu nationalists assaulted and beat a pastor and his wife with sticks in Bihar, causing severe injuries, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
Pastor Ram Niwas and his wife Pinky were praying in their Sitamarhi home on April 22 when a villager and four of the pastor’s brothers broke in with a hammer and began assaulting the two Christians.
According to Pastor Niwas, the five attackers were supporters of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu nationalist group.
They also targeted Narender, a church member who was praying together with the Christian couple at the time of the attack.
Pastor Niwas had his shoulder fractured, Pinky had head injuries and Narender was also hurt in the assault. The three were taken to a hospital in Muzaffarpur for medical attention.
According to CSW news, the entire incident was filmed on the CCTV camera installed at Pastor Niwas’ house, but nationalists seized the camera and handed it over to a local political leader.
Pastor Niwas has been doing Christian ministry among the Scheduled Caste in Sitamahri for the past six years, and he has been receiving threats from nationalist groups since 2018.
In one of the incidents, the nationalists told Pastor Niwas that “If you wish to stay here, you and all those whom you converted to Christianity must reconvert and go through the rituals of ghar wapsi ceremony.”
Local sources said that the pastor had been under the radar of nationalists, who accused him of performing conversions and forcing people to eat beef, which is a holy animal to Hindus.