A man who converted from Hinduism to Christianity was beaten and left for dead by a group of Hindu radicals angered that he and his family refused to stop worshiping Jesus.
According to Morning Star News, Hindu extremists in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi kidnapped 30-year-old Joginder Gold in April after he refused to comply with their demands that he and his family stop worshiping Christ.
An area church leader named Rev. Patsy David told the outlet that six Hindu radicals accused Gold of stealing vegetables from their farmhouse after he left a local store one morning. Gold denied the accusation and said he could take the men to the seller who sold him the vegetables.
One of the Hindus told Gold that he would take him to the seller and told him to get on the back of his motorbike. However, the radical took Gold to the Hindus' farmhouse, where he was tortured for nearly three hours.
"They tied me upside down on a tree and started verbally abusing me for my faith in Christ and started to beat me on the soles of my feet," Gold told Morning Star News.
He also revealed that one of the men stuck a stick in his mouth, while two other extremists held him down by sitting on his chest. Before finally losing consciousness, Gold threw up three times.
David, a male clergy member, told the outlet that the extremists then threw Gold's body in a pit and covered his body with leaves. A witness eventually took Gold to his home and notified the police, who in turn took the Christian man to the hospital.
"The injuries he suffered on the soles of his feet were so severe that they affected the veins in his head, and he suffered severe head pain along with severe pain in his chest, thigh, arm, buttock, upper back and left calf," David revealed.
David said that Gold and his family have long been harassed by Hindu radicals because of their faith: "For the past two years, they tried to implicate Joginder in a false case and told him to stop worshipping Christ or that he will pay for it," he said.
While police took Gold to the hospital, they took little action after a legal complaint was filed by a local Christian leader, and instead of asking questions about the assault and kidnapping, the police were more focused on when Gold converted and who converted him.
Gold told the police that he gave his life to Christ over eight years ago after seeing how Jesus helped heal his sister and witnessing the other members of his family put their trust in Christ.
Morning Star reports that Gold was transferred to a private hospital after six days of treatment and was discharged from the hospital after 20 days. Gold was not initially able to talk and as of last Friday was still not able to walk normally.
According to a report by the Evangelical Fellowship, 177 cases of Christian persecution have been recorded in India last year. However, it is believed that the number of actual cases may be higher since some incidents may not have been reported to authorities.
Christians in the country make up about 2.3 percent of India's entire population, which is about 25 million. Many of them belong to the social class known as the Untouchables or Dalits, which is the poorest group in the country.
Christians are despised for being from lower classes and face shunning, being seen as anti-Indian for embracing a non-Hindu faith perceived as "Western." According to Fox News, Hindu radicals enjoy near complete impunity for their actions.
India is ranked 17th on Open Door USA's World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution. The report notes that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, radical Hinduism, which was already present under the previous government, has increased steadily.
"While intolerance has risen, and minorities are constantly attacked, the central government has refused to speak out against the atrocities - thus further encouraging the radical Hindus to step up their actions. The level of impunity has gone up markedly for those who push for a completely Hindu India."