05/20/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a 52-year-old Christian was shot dead in an attack on a Christian family by radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Rajasthan state. According to the local sources, three other Christians were seriously injured after they were brutally beaten with a gun, swords, and sickles.
On May 18, a mob of 15 radical Hindu nationalists carrying swords, sickles, and a gun attacked the family of Pastor Ramesh Bumbariya at his home in the Bansawra District. The mob reportedly attacked the family after they refused to renounce their Christian faith.
During the assault, the radicals pointed the gun at Pastor Bumbariya and attempted to shoot the pastor. The gun, however, failed to fire. Later the assailants pointed the gun at Pastor Bumbariya’s father, Bhima Bumbariya, and shot the 52-year-old Christian. After his father collapsed to the ground, Pastor Bumbariya was knocked unconscious.
Pastor Bumbariya and two other members of his family were transported to the government hospital in Udaipur, but the hospital staff refused to admit the injured Christians due to COVID-19 regulations. Later, the injured Christians were admitted to a nearby private hospital.
“I believe God has a definite purpose in keeping me alive,” Pastor Bumbariya told ICC from his hospital bed. “I will carry on the ministry God has given to me.”
“We gave up so much already for the sake of our faith,” Pastor Bumbariya continued. “They took away our agricultural land, they destroyed our house, now they want our lives. I am worried about my family and children; about what will happen to them when I am not around.”
Pastor Bumbariya has worked as a church planter in the Bansawra District and has started several house churches in different villages. According to local church leaders, Pastor Bumbariya has been attacked by radicals several times in the past and has even had a false forced conversion allegation filed against him.
“I am sure I cannot attend my father’s funeral now that I am almost on a death bed,” Pastor Bumbariya told ICC. “But I thank God for his mercies during this difficult situation.”
William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are deeply concerned by the attack on Pastor Ramesh and his family. We pray for their full recovery and mourn with them over the murder of Bhima. No one should be murdered because they choose to follow Jesus. In recent years, however, the impunity enjoyed by radical Hindu nationalists in India has emboldened them to increase their attacks on Christians, in both number and severity. Authorities in India must do more to bring these radicals to justice and provide Indian Christians with their religious freedom rights guaranteed by India’s constitution.”