Morning Star News
Hindu extremists burn Bibles outside building of church attacked in Sikandar Chavadi, Tamil Nadu, India.
A pastor’s wife in Madurai District in Tamil Nadu was repeatedly kicked in the face, making her unconscious, by a group of Hindu extremists who attacked a church on March 11.
The attackers tried to snatch her Bible from Persia Jacob, 38, pushing and slapping her, they stripped her of her sari. When she pleaded with them to let go of her sari, they demanded her to prostrate at their feet and beg them to forgive her.
Persia told Morning Star News that the Hindu extremists were led by Thangam Venkatesh, district secretary of the Hindu Munnani.
“If you and your husband convert back to Hinduism right here, we will spare you alive,” she alleged one of the assailants told her.
“If not, you will be brutally killed,” he added.
Pr Ravi Jacob said Venkatesh struck her in the face with the church building key, when she stopped him from applying vermillion to her forehead, a sign of conversion to Hinduism.
“She was kicked in the face with shoes,” he said, sobbing.
“I tried hard but couldn’t protect her. She fell unconscious. She was lying there unconscious without her sari,” 41-year-old pastor added.
The extremists took Jacob by the collar, dragged him out of the service and punched him repeatedly, he said.
“They were punching in rage,” he added.
As he lying down in pain, the Hindu extremists hurriedly snatched Bibles, his mobile phone, wristwatch and a microphone and set them on fire, he said.
“This attack should stand as an example to all the pastors in Tamil Nadu. It should teach them a lesson so hard that there will not be any church service, and no worship of Jesus on this Tamil land,” Jacob alleged that the attackers said.
Venkatesh “asked me how I would prefer to die, and that he had only two options to offer me,” said Jacob.
“One, he said, he would hang me in public. And, the other that he would burn me alive,” he added.
Some 50 assailants chased Jacob more than a kilometer from Sikandar Chavadi to Koodul Nagar, he said.
“They issued threats that they will strip me and chase me naked – I ran as fast as I could,” he said.
“They mocked me, and some were photographing. They said I should be put to shame by videotaping me nude and chasing me on the main road, and by circulating it widely to the public, saying that they can stop ‘conversions,’ and that it will be an end to Christianity,” he added.