The alleged reason for the attack? A Bible in a patient’s room.
According to ICC, members of the radical Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh raided Sanjo Hospital in Karnataka, accused two Christians connected to the facility of blasphemy, and then beat them. Local police later arrested the two Christians, who were then denied bail, ICC said.
The attack stemmed from an interaction with a Hindu man who asked why a Bible was in the room with him while he was being treated at the hospital, said Father Josekutty Kalayil, who”takes care of the hospital’s legal affairs,” according to Asia News.
Simon George, one of the two Christians who were beaten by RSS, reportedly told the patient he was welcome to read it if he so desired.
Shortly after this interaction, the radicals attacked the hospital, Asia News reported.
The outlet added, “The extremists claim that the two denigrated Hindu deities. Instead of helping the victims of the attack, police took Simon George into custody. He applied for bail but the court turned him down.”
President of the Global Council of Indian Christians Sajan George said the hospital was attacked because it’s operated by Christians, even though the facility serves everybody and does not take faith into consideration for who it treats, Asia News said.
“Christian missionaries who work in the medical and educational field are targeted every day by extremists who try to discredit their altruistic work, which is to get people the ‘beneficial touch’ of Jesus,” Sajan George said, according to Asia News. “There is nothing criminal or illegal about keeping a Bible in a hospital room; no Hindu deity has been offended,”
The persecution watchdog group noted that Sajan George kept a Christ-like, forgiving attitude, saying, “Our Christian institutions serve mostly those who attack, abuse and assault us. May God forgive them for they know not what they do.”