HYDERABAD, India — Weeks after a pastor led five families to faith in Christ in southern India, masked men on motorbikes intercepted him and tried to kill him, sources said.
Pastor Banothu Sevya, 26, was in a coma for 48 hours after the drunken Hindu extremists beat him in Govindapuram, on the outskirts of Jamandlapalli village in Telangana state, on Oct. 5.
Sevya was riding his motorcycle home from a church service where more than 60 Banjara villagers had gathered at his relative’s house to study the Bible and worship. As he rode home on a motorcycle, he noticed the masked men following him.
Doctors said he had blood clots in the cerebral area, brain coordination problems, injury to his eye and a damaged eardrum.
Extremists had threatened Sevya twice before and accused him of fraudulent or forcible conversion. Sevya said he ignored the threats and did not complain to police officials but did respond when the extremists questioned what he was teaching.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, attacks against non-Hindus have increased. India ranked 15th on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of the countries where Christians experience the most persecution. (MS)