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Pastor in India beaten, dragged from home by Hindu mob

BELGAUM, India — Hindu extremists dragged a Christian pastor from a home April 5, beat and kicked him as he was marched a mile to his church’s meeting place, and forced him to perform Hindu rituals.

The mob accused Pastor Sanjay Bhandari of converting the community to Christianity.

Two in the mob of 50–60 extremists in Halaga village near Belgaum city were people with whom Bhandari had had a good relationship.

Bhandari was hospitalized for his injuries. His wife, Bhimshen Bhandari, also was injured.

Santosh Satpute, formerly a Hindu but now a Christian, stood up to the mob and spoke in support of Pastor Bhandari. Satpute was attacked as well.

The mob told Bhandari not to be seen in the area again, further warning that he would be cut into pieces if he conducted church services.

India is No. 10 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian. In 2013, the year before current Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, India ranked No. 31.

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