Hindu Extremists Beat Pastor Unconscious in Gujarat State, India

Assailants leave him for dead; couple also struck.

Hindu extremists assaulted pastor Ramesh Pargi in Dahod District, Gujarat state, India, on Oct. 22, 2019. (Morning Star News)

Hindu extremists assaulted pastor Ramesh Pargi in Dahod District, Gujarat state, India, on Oct. 22, 2019. (Morning Star News)

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – A pastor in western India suffered severe injuries to his head and back on Tuesday (Oct. 22) after Hindu extremists beat him unconscious for visiting a Christian in a neighboring village, sources said.

The eight assailants left pastor Ramesh Pargi in a pool of blood after surrounding and assaulting him, pastor Shantilal Virabhai Kalaswa and his wife Malika Kalaswa as they made their way out of Jamboti village, Dahod District, in Gujarat state on their way home to Dhadhela village four miles away.

“They broke my body completely,” Pastor Pargi told Morning Star News via video conference, visibly in pain as he spoke from his bed at Dhun Orthopedic Hospital in Jhalod, Dahod District. “As they beat me, they were repeating, ‘Do not come to our village either to visit or to preach – we do not want Christians to enter our village.’”

His head injury required five stitches.

“He lost about 1,500 milliliters [1.5 liters] of blood from his head on the spot where he lay unconscious,” said pastor Surmal Damor, displaying Pastor Pargi’s blood-stained shirt as he visited him at the hospital. “His shirt, trouser and undershirt are soaked in blood. It was so scary.”

Pastor Pargi said he had no idea who took him to Sukhsar city government hospital. One of the assailants used political connections to persuade hospital staff to refuse to treat the pastor, and he was referred to Dhun Orthopedic Hospital, said Pastor Damor.

“The last thing I remember was that Pastor Shantilal’s wife was beaten by wooden sticks on her back, and I was being beaten from all sides by wooden sticks,” Pastor Pargi said.

The three Christians were visiting a church member in Jamboti who had requested Pastor Pargi come to pray for him. Pastor Pargi leads Sharon Fellowship Church in Dhadhela, along with Pastor Shantilal Kalaswa.

The three Christians had visited Dula Bhai, who is also Pastor Pargi’s uncle, on two motorbikes on Tuesday evening (Oct. 22) and had gone about 500 meters outside the village on their return at around 8 p.m. when a group of Hindu extremists assaulted them, he said.

“Shantilal somehow managed to escape from the place after being hit by a wooden stick,” Pastor Pargi told Morning Star News. “His wife Malika tried to escape but could not run faster and was caught and assaulted.”

The eight men beat Pastor Pargi on his head, back, chest, hands and legs, he said.

“There is a lot of swelling on his chest, back and head,” said Pastor Damor, “The doctor’s will only perform tests and X-ray’s after the swelling subsides.”

He added that Malika Kalaswa sustained injuries on her back.

Pastor Pargi told Morning Star News that the assailants had threatened the Christian they visited, his uncle, about 10 days prior, saying, “Do not worship this God.”

“Uncle has been attending my church for the past five years since he accepted Christ and left his Hindu faith but never faced such threats before,” he said.

Police ‘Investigation’

Pastor Pargi’s wife, Somli Ben, told Morning Star News that the severity of the attack, in which the assailants left him for dead, was unprecedented in the area.

“I am completely shaken after what happened to my husband,” she said. “I have never seen or heard anybody beat someone to death for just visiting the sick and praying for them.”

Sukhsar Police Station Sub-Inspector P.K. Asoda on Wednesday (Oct. 23) told Morning Star News a First Information Report was registered (FIR No. 1/39/2019) that day and that investigations are underway.

“The names of four assaulters have been mentioned in the FIR, and the other four will be added to the FIR after their names are revealed during the investigation,” Asoda said. “No arrests have been made yet, as the four who have been named in the FIR were not available in their homes. We might check on them at night and nab them.”

He said police will undertake a fair investigation that will determine the motive. Pastor Damor, however, said today (Oct. 24) that police have bowed to political pressure from the assailants to make no arrests and have stopped investigating.

“The police are not responding to our calls,” he said.

Several pastors in Dahod District visiting Pastor Pargi in the hospital told Morning Star News that the area had never seen an assault of such severity.

“Small scale incidents have happened in Dahod and the nearby districts in the past, but they were not very severe, and we have never approached the police in the past,” said one pastor.

Hindu extremists disrupted a Christian meeting in Dabhada village about six months ago, surrounding 10 to 12 pastors and manhandling them, Pastor Damor said – slapping and pushing them and tearing their shirts.

“They were chased from the village by the attackers who told them, ‘We do not want Christians entering in our village,’” he said.

Dabhada is two miles from Dhadhela village, where Pastor Pargi lives. From a family that practices traditional tribal religion, Pastor Pargi put his faith in Christ 20 years ago. He and his wife have two sons, ages 17 and 19, and a married 21-year-old daughter.

Shibu Thomas, founder of aid group Persecution Relief, told Morning Star News he is concerned over a rising number of anti-Christian attacks reported daily.

“Christian persecution in India is increasing at alarming levels and is spreading like cancer across India, making every Christian’s life unpredictable,” Thomas said. “The miraculous healing power of Jesus is exercised when we lay our hands on the sick and pray, but these days it can earn you a beating and an admission into a hospital. Religious fanatics are not afraid to take the law into their own hands and go unpunished.”

Persecution Relief has recorded 302 incidents of persecution of Christians in India this year through August, he said.

India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position has been worse each year since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit https://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

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Comments

  1. Please forward this message to the tv stations across US, contact your senators and congressman to let them know this incident and ask them to condemn India BJP government including PM Modi he is the one Who started this national sentiment. The government ministers already mentioned in their speech that they convert all followers of other religions into Hindu. We in the US shows that we are for Humanity.why? We are not taking any action? against India.

  2. Bro. Nick Nicholas says

    There certainly ARE VERY-VERY FEW ‘Religious Christian People’ here in ‘Amerika’ who actually care anything about what is happening to MY Christian “brethren” in INDIA -or- in ANY of the 140+ other countries where MY brothers and sisters “in Christ Jesus our Lord” are being persecuted for their faith in “our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep” – RIGHT NOW ! ! !
    .
    – HOWEVER – Even in this time when the pseudo-Christian Amerikan Red-White-and Blue Patriotic ‘Lukewarm CoeXist Ecumenical Laodicean Religion’ is growing by leaps and bounds
    — Thankfully – “the words of truth” are still Biblically “the truth” unto those of us who truly are Biblically “saved” and “born again” believers and followers of “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” – ‘Biblical CHRISTians’
    – For “it is written” unto US in Hebrews 13:3 [AV]~[KJV]:
    “Remember THEM that are in bonds, as bound with THEM;
    and THEM which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
    .
    – For those of us who truly are ‘Biblical CHRISTians’ have made the personal choice “through faith” to “believeth” in “the words of truth” of the Biblical WARNING that is written unto US in James 1:22-24 [AV]:
    But be ye doers of the word,
    and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
    he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    .

  3. Bro. Nick Nicholas says

    This message is now (31 Oct 2019) ONE week old – with only TWO previous ‘Comments’
    – SO – As a Biblically “saved” and “born again” “believeth” follower of “the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” – a ‘Biblical CHRISTian’ – I do personally wonder if MY Christian brothers and sisters “in Christ Jesus our Lord” in the 140+ countries where there is active Persecution of Christians going on RIGHT NOW
    – Would they be shocked if they knew that one of the major concerns of the vast majority of ‘Religious Amerikan Christian People’ is about what is happening with — ‘Us FOUR – and NO MORE’ ?
    — FOR the VAST MAJORITY of ‘Religious Christian People’ here in ‘Amerika’ JUST DO NOT CARE about what is happening to any other Christian who lives in any other country ! ! !
    — AND there are now those people who have made the personal choice to be “subtilly” hostile against them ! ! ! (Ecclesiastes 12:14 ~ AV)
    – Which is part of the ‘In-Process Fulfillment’ of that which is Prophetically WARNED about in:
    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 + 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 + 2 Timothy 3:1-9 & 13 + 2 Peter 2:1-3 [AV]
    .
    SO – I have personally wondered for several years now
    — If ‘Real Persecution’ does come against Christians here in ‘Amerika’ ?
    — Will “the only wise God” cause MY Christian “brethren” who have -or- are enduring Persecution to ONLY think and pray for us here in ‘Amerika’ in the same way that the vast majority of ‘Religious Amerikan Christian People’ in this “proud” and arrogant country have actually ‘prayed’ and ‘thought about’ THEM ? (Matthew 25:41-46 ~ AV~KJV)
    .
    – For part of ‘Putting on the Whole Armour of God’ (Ephesians 6:10-20 ~AV) that is written unto those of us who truly are ‘Biblical CHRISTians’ are “the words of truth” written in Verse 18:
    “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
    and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for ALL SAINTS;”
    .
    – And in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-25 [AV] “it is written” unto all of us who truly are ‘Biblical CHRISTians’:
    And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;
    and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
    BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US.
    .

  4. Bro. Nick Nicholas says

    TODAY – Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 – Is the annual day when the global Christian Church community unites in prayer for the Persecuted Church.
    – For this day is the International Day of Prayer ( IDOP ) – Which is an encouragement to Christians to Pray for the TWO HUNDRED MILLION ++ Christians in 140+ Countries all around the world who are being Persecuted — RIGHT NOW ! ! !
    .
    How very-very thankful I am that there are a few of us who truly are Biblically “saved” and “born again” believers and followers of “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” – ‘Biblical CHRISTians’
    – For it is we who actually do Remember – and will also Pray for our brothers and sisters “in Christ Jesus our Lord” — Men -and- Women -and- Boys -and- Girls who live in Countries all around the world.
    – SO – We do “through faith” willingly believe – and obey “the words of truth” that are written in Hebrews 13:3 [AV]~[KJV]:
    Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them;
    and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
    .
    – FOR “the words of truth” are also written unto ALL of us who truly are ‘Biblical CHRISTians’
    – So we do “give thanks” unto “the only wise God” that we have been given the desire to willingly do that which is written in James 1:22 [AV]:
    But be ye doers of the word,
    and not hearers only,
    deceiving your own selves.
    .

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