Gospel for Asia missionaries beaten by mob

Two Indian missionaries have been beaten by an anti-Christian mob in the state of Himacha Pradesh.

Danny Yohannan, of Gospel For Asia (GFA), said a group of 30 extremists attacked the GFA missionaries.

“[They] took them to the local temple and stripped them naked and made fun of them, took all their Gospel tracts and Bibles and burned them. Then they beat up the missionaries really bad. Then, they took them to the police station and had them arrested," he was quoted as saying by Mission Network News.

Whilst the Indian constitution officially grants freedom of religion, the state of Himachal Pradesh has an anti-conversion law to hinder the work of Christian missionaries. According to Yohannan, whilst the missionaries were arrested, the mob was not penalised for their actions

One of the missionaries suffered severe injuries to his back in the attack while the other is suffering from acute head trauma during the attack.

GFA leaders went to the police station after hearing of the attacks and managed to secure the release of the victims.

Both victims were required to return to the police station the next day regarding the case. Police said that the beating by the mob was unproven. Neither the mob nor the missionaries were charged with any crime.

Despite the attack, Yohannan said that both men are keen to continue spreading the Gospel.

"They're asking for prayer that they'll get better as soon as possible so they can go back out and share the Gospel with the same people that persecuted them," he said.

"Our missionaries go out with the expectations that they are going to face persecution. So this is nothing new for them. It's just part of the daily sacrifice of sharing the Gospel."

He also said that despite such persecution, more people are receiving the Gospel and more churches are being planted in India: "I think this is what makes people scared. And sometimes it causes persecution because they don't have the answers," Yohannan said.