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Praying with nomads lands pastor in strife
Indian police arrest Hindu but accuse Christians of conversionsPastor Isaac at the hospital. His wife is besides him.
- Philip Mathew, Bangalore
- January 4, 2011
Pastor Samuel Isaac, 40, was hit with a chopper and has 11 stitches below his head, said Â Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Â The pastorâ€™s condition is not stable, he added.
The attack occurred on Jan. 2 while the pastor was praying with some nomads in a tent at a New Year program in Davangere district. Pastor Isaac is the GCICâ€™s district coordinator.
Some nomads, who came from neighboring Andhra Pradesh state, had reportedly become Christians some years ago.
Basavaraju, the Hindu, objected to the pastorâ€™s presence among the nomads and alleged he was out to make them Christians. The pastor told Basavaraju that the nomads had invited him to pray with them.
Infuriated, the Hindu aimed the chopper at the pastorâ€™s head but missed it, hitting his shoulder.
Others rushed the bleeding pastor to the local government hospital where he is now undergoing treatment after a blood transfusion, George said.
The GCIC leader said the young attacker belonged to the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu extremist group.
Father Robert Dâ€™Mello, the local Catholic parish priest and chancellor of Shimoga diocese, said Pastor Isaac visited villages to meet and pray with people.
The police have reportedly arrested the attacker and filed cases against him.
Christians in the district have condemned the attack on the pastor and demanded a fair police investigation, the Catholic priest said.
George said the police arrested the pastorâ€™s two assistants for allegedly converting people. The two were nursing their leader in hospital at the time of the arrest. â€śThis is done in retaliation to the complaint lodged against Basavaraju,â€ť the GCIC leader said.
Arrested pastors released on bail
Rise of the sects poses a challenge for the Church