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India: Christian family escapes mob

February 2020

Christian villagers rushed to the aid of a pastor and his family who were surrounded by a violent mob in north-east India.

According to reports from Release International, pastor Palathingal Johnson, his wife and four children were at home when the mob of approximately ten to fifteen armed Hindu extremists smashed their way into his home in Bihar state, and threatened to kill them.

The family barricaded themselves into a room while the mob, which was shouting Hindu slogans, broke through the roof and windows. During these few minutes, the pastor used his mobile phone to call for help. Almost immediately, a crowd of about 50 Christians came running to help from the area, and the outnumbered mob fled.

Pastor Johnson said he had tried to call the police but had been unable to get through. Speaking to Release International partners, he said, ‘That moment I could see death face-to-face. A delay of two more minutes would have cost us our lives. We constantly kept on chanting, “There is victory in the blood of Christ”.’