Minister beaten for praying for the sick

By WND Staff

A pastor from Good Shepherd Community Church who traveled to a nearby region to pray for the sick was beaten by an anti-Christian mob, and since police then refused to accept his complaint, the area’s doctors would not treat him, according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs about persecuted Christians.

The attack happened to Pastor Reginald Howell, who had traveled from his home region in India to the nearby city of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. Voice of the Martyrs sources there reported that he was visiting Christians in the area as well as praying for the sick.

Then the attackers found him.

“He was beaten with an iron rod and suffered severe injuries on his back,” the persecution report said. “The police refused to register his complaint and as a result, doctors denied him treatment.”

More and more such incidents are being reported in Indian states even as they adopt various pieces of “freedom” legislation concerning religion.

“Rajasthan State has a so-called ‘Freedom of Religion Bill’ that is used as a tool in the hands of fundamentalists to harass Christians,” said the VOM contacts, who report on the various attacks, discriminations and persecutions of Christians because of their beliefs.

“The cases of anti-Christian attacks in this area keep increasing, and the State Administration turns a blind eye to the persecution,” they said, according to The Voice of the Martyrs.

VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton said the problem is getting worse.

“The situation for our brothers and sisters in India is deteriorating,” he said. “But God is faithful, and even in these difficult times with so much persecution, the church there is growing. We are thankful for the courageous example of Indian Christians.”

Voice of the Martyrs
is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, “Tortured for Christ,” was released.

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