An evangelical Christian leader in India was beaten and then run over by motorcycles ridden by Hindu extremists last week, sources in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have told Morning Star News.

Isaac Paulose, 48, was attacked on 3rd March and left with injuries including a fractured rib and multiple fractures in his left hand, according to Uttar Kumar Deep, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church of the Christian Evangelistic Assemblies in Sehore.

Isaac Paulose

Church leader Isaac Paulose in hospital after attack in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh state, India. PICTURE: Morning Star News.

Paulose, who is an elder at the church and state coordinator of the New India Evangelistic Association, was attacked shortly after dropping his five-year-old son off at school, Deep told MSN. He was in his car when a Hindu nationalist on a motorcycle stopped him and told him to get out.

"Unaware of his intentions and without a slightest of suspicion, Isaac stepped out,” Deep said. “Suddenly others joined the biker, and all of them began to beat Isaac with bamboo logs and a chain.”

The pastor told Morning Star News that as Paulose lay on the ground half-dead five motorcycles were ridden over him.

“They scorned and taunted him, asking him to call on the name of Jesus," he said. "They also threatened to kill him if he continues to ‘convert’ people.”

Police were notified of the attack. Inspector Manoj Mishra told The Indian Express that Paulose had said he was attacked "because of his religion but could not provide any clue leading to the attackers".

Deep told Morning Star News that Paulose does not engage in forced conversion.

“Such incidents should not happen with us; we are peace-loving people,” he said. “We do not get violent, and accusing someone of [forced] conversion without any reason and proof is not a good thing.”

Paulose's wife Elizabeth, thanking all those who had and would be praying for her husband, said she was initially shaken but is now at peace after the attack which took place just 300 metres from their home. 

“Initially, I was very troubled and in a state of shock after seeing Isaac in this condition, but later the Lord gave me peace and strength,” she told Morning Star News. “It is our privilege to suffer for the Lord, and we will continue to work for the Lord. I am sure that God will reward us.”

Hemant Lal, a Christian leader from Bhopal, told Morning Star News Paulose was honoured to suffer in Christ’s name.

“Brother Isaac’s condition was very bad when he was brought to Bhopal,” Lal told Morning Star News. “I was amazed at his faith. He told me he was not scared, and that there will be difficulties in doing the Lord’s work, but that he was glad that he suffered for the name of Jesus.”