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By ICC's India Correspondent
International Christian Concern
"Till his last breath, he endured the path of suffering while serving God," said 65-year-old Rodemma, wife of the late Pastor Krupaiah, who died of internal injuries on July 22, 2015. Pastor Krupaiah, 70, was a victim of a brutal attack by Hindu radicals two years ago in Tukkuguda on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Rodemma recalled, while talking to International Christian Concern (ICC), how her husband had endured many trials for the sake of preaching the Gospel during the early days of their ministry. In 1984 in Ameerpet, Hyderabad, Pastor Krupaiah, a young minister at the time, was brutally assaulted by Hindu radicals while he was distributing Bible Tracts and Christian literature. Pastor Krupaiah was caught at the market place and stripped while the Hindu radicals destroyed the Gospel tracts and Bibles. Since then, trials have been a part of the late Pastor Krupaiah's life and ministry; the latest trial was the deadly attack that left over a dozen pastors injured, including Pastor Krupaiah.
"It was on June 4, 2013," said Pastor Timothy. "We were over 50 pastors gathered for prayer and fellowship in an independent church in Tukkuguda. All of sudden over 40 Hindu radicals stormed into the church hall and started beating us all. Soon we realized that some of us were bleeding with injuries all over the body. The blood spilled all over the place [and] we were locked up in the hall. We did not have a choice but to receive blows and kicks."
Pastor Krupaiah was seriously injured, with a wound on his head and kicks to the chest; he had already collapsed when the attackers left the place according to witnesses. Pastor Krupaiah was immediately rushed to the hospital while other pastors proceeded to the police station. Unfortunately, the Hindu radicals were already at the police station when the pastors arrived, accusing the pastors of being involved in forced conversion activities.
Fortunately, the police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the attackers at the Pahadisharif police station on the complaint given by the wounded pastors who went to the police straight from the church.
For Pastor Krupaiah, it was a daily battle when it came to his health after the attack. Weeks passed and the visible wounds healed. Months passed and the sensation created by the violence died down. However, the internal injuries continued to pose a constant threat to Pastor Krupaiah's life. Reportedly, the injuries caused many blood clots in Pastor Krupaiah's head. Over the course of time, the heavy blows to his chest resulted in multiple organ failures. Pastor Krupaiah breathed his last on July 22, 2015; he was 70 years old.
Rodemma said that, "The road ahead for me also is very tough." She requested prayers for the comfort of the bereaved family and for the ministry that Pastor Krupaiah left behind.
Often, the aftermath of religiously motivated attacks and the long term needs of the victims are forgotten. At times, news of pastors and Christian workers facing situations similar to that of Pastor Krupaiah are never heard, leaving their needs unaddressed.
Pastor Timothy, leader of a local pastor's fellowship, observed, "More often it is the rural pastors who are the targets of the right wing Hindu nationalist groups. These pastors have no medical insurance and [are] without adequate support, which will make things more difficult when they become victims of persecution."
Christians in India are being persecuted on a daily basis. Pastors and Christian workers are often the first to be targeted because of their visibility and mission to carry out the Great Commission. Regardless of where or when they are persecuted, these Christians are truly deserving of our prayers and support. Please remember to pray for persecuted Christians in India today.
For interviews, contact William Stark, Regional Manager for South Asia: RM-SAsia@persecution.org
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