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Radicals Threaten Christians: 'We Will Make Our District Like Orissa'

Contact: GFA Media, 972-300-3379

JHARKAND, India, October 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- Anti-Christian radicals in India's Jharkand state have threatened local believers with organized violence modeled after the attempted genocide of Christians in neighboring Orissa, according to reports received by Gospel for Asia's headquarters in Carrollton, Texas.

GFA missionary Mohan Girji was badly beaten by anti-Christian extremists on Friday. The next day, a large group of Hindu radicals gathered with the purpose of bringing Orissa's persecution rampage to their state as well.

"We will make our district like Orissa," the extremists declared, referencing the state where the worst persecution against Christians erupted nearly two months ago.

The threats were accompanied by an attack on a GFA-related church and an attempt to organize the beating of two other GFA missionaries. Fortunately, the beatings were not carried out.

GFA President K.P. Yohannan called the threats totally unwarranted.

"These attacks and threats are another sign that a radical minority of Hindus are attempting to use hate and violence to keep people from knowing the love and hope found in Jesus Christ," Dr. Yohannan said. "I ask that all Christians pray for our brothers and sisters in Jharkand at this time--and pray for those who persecute them, that they will come to know the love of God that can free them from their captivity by the Enemy."

The extremist group is using what they say is a mistranslation of a word in the Jharkhand-language Bible as their excuse for attacking the Christians, demanding that the word be changed. In Orissa, the rampage that has driven more than 50,000 Christians from their homes started when a Hindu swami was killed by Maost rebels. The Hindu radicals insisted that Christians killed the swami, despite the Communists claiming responsibility.

As in Orissa, the tension in Jharkand has forced the Christians in Pastor Girgi's area to leave and gather in another location for worship.

Gospel for Asia is an evangelical mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.