Aug 30, 2006 (9:45am) August 30, 2006 Just after 10:00 p.m. on August 21st, Pastor Joseph’s rented house was broken into by militant Hindu groups accusing him of not bowing before the Hindu gods. The 50-year-old pastor led 18 families for three years at the Kodambi Village Church, located in Hankaltaluk in Uttera Kannada district, Karnataka state. He was forced from his home in the middle of the night as Hindu radicals accused him of converting Hindus to Christianity. The attackers loaded Pastor Joseph’s possessions onto a tractor before sending him out to the Mundgode police station, nearly 20 miles from Kodambi. Taking him into custody, the officers refused to unload the pastor’s seized property. He was released shortly thereafter.
On August 23rd, Johnson, a senior pastor in Dakshina Kannada district, and a local Christian leader, David Chacko, planned to visit the police station in Mundgode to settle the matter. However, police conspired with the Hindu militants and severely attacked the two believers before they left Chacko’s home and dragged them to the police station. After the arrests and harassment, both men were set free. Meanwhile, the attackers have chased another evangelist by the name of Chandrakanth from the village and began searching for other pastors to target in their onslaught. The Voice of the Martyrs has since assisted in providing shelter in a nearby city for Pastor Chandrakanth, who desires to continue his evangelization in the area despite stiff opposition.