My sister-in-law, Martha, talked to her sister, Laxmi, who was there the night of the beatings in Rajasthan and got the full story first hand today.
Here's what happened: about 15 believers: men, women and children, were gathered at the house of another believer for a prayer meeting. They had started to make rice and sang only a couple songs when some people came to stop the meeting. When they came and told them to stop, the pastor stopped everything and everyone was going to leave but the people then started to come at them with ax and heavy pieces of wood.
They beat everyone. The numbers of believers and beaters were about equal but the believers had several small children with them. Even they were beaten. The pastor, Surjit, was beaten the most and when he was on the ground they came at his head with the ax, but he stopped it with his hand. He has a bad cut on the palm of his hand and forearm from it.
O.'s sister, Laxmi, was beat several times on her legs and one leg was broken. Someone also came at her with an ax but at the last second someone pushed it away so that it only hit her leg slightly.
There were three young men among the believers; Ramesh, the Bible College graduate who was missing but later found, fought off as many men as he could and was able to rescue most of the children and get them out of there. He was later beaten badly, he was just one against fifteen. He was able to escape by jumping into some body of water and pushing three of them into it (they were drunk).
The two other young men who are very new believers were also there and were beaten. Laxmi told Martha she was worried that after this their faith would fail, but they have both said that Christ suffered so much more for them that this was nothing. Amen to that.
Once you get the story from the mouths of women you get a much clearer idea of what happened.
The other side continues to hold onto that the believers were drunk and had killed a cow. Lies, but it's what the police and everyone else is choosing to believe. That's the uphill battle that O. is fighting, trying to get the truth out and accepted as the truth.
The beaten believers are still in much pain; the pastor was taken back to the hospital today because the pain had become too severe.
There was an encouragement and unity meeting this morning and about 200 Christians came from the surrounding areas, which is great. O. and his team are back at the police station tonight trying to get an honest report on file. Keep on praying.