INDIA: Violent anti-Christian attacks continue in various states.
THIS IS ATROCIOUS! It is evident that these folk have Nepali or Tibetan backgrounds and so caste and racial hatred also figures…
Nimai Rabha (pictured) was one of fifteen Christians who were badly injured when a mob of about 100 Hindu extremists armed with swords, bamboo sticks and stones attacked church members who were eating after a service on 17 April.
This latest attack on Christians took place in Amtola village, Golpara District, in Assam state in north-east India. At least 15 Christians were injured, many of them wounded on their heads and upper bodies.
“Right now there are no Christians in the village – all have fled,” said Rev David Boro. “The Christian families who were the main target of the attack are now in a safe-house after they were released from the hospital. The more critically injured are still in the hospital, and when they will be released, they too will join the others in the safe-house.”
“Not satisfied with merely beating the Christians, the mob led by Hindu extremists broke and destroyed the homes of these Christian families,” said another Christian leader, Kamleshwar Baglary. “All together, five houses have been completely destroyed along with household items.”
A 7-year-old girl, Pranita Rabha, suffered serious chest injuries and clots in her brain due to the beating, church leaders said. She and two other Christians were rushed to Guwahati, the state capital, for medical treatment.
Hostilities against the church began last year after Christian prayer healed a villager of cancer, leading five families from the Rabha clan to begin attending worship services, Baglary said.
The Rev Vijayesh Lal of the Evangelical Fellowship of India’s (EFI) Religious Liberty Commission said the brutality of the incident was shocking. “The way children have been beaten up mercilessly shows the extent of hate created by external elements,” he said. “We have written to the chief minister of Assam, appealing to him for intervention in the case.” The EFI documented four incidents of persecution against the Christian community in the village in 2014, “but this latest incident surpasses them all in terms of the magnitude of the violence,” Lal said.
Good Friday service blocked in Uttar Pradesh state
In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, under pressure from Hindu extremists, local officials prevented a church holding a service on Good Friday (3 April), and ordered Pastor Daniel Singh (pictured) of Salvation for Asia Church in Swar, near Rampur, to vacate the rented property. The extremists had submitted a complaint to police against the pastor of “forceful conversion” and warned him to vacate the property.
“The extremists summoned me one night to one of their meetings, and they threatened to burn up the church if we do not empty the land,” said Pastor Singh.
On 8 April, the Rampur District magistrate ordered the pastor to vacate the land, where about 1,000 people worship.
“We have rented land to build a structure for conducting worship meetings, and we have two more years to conduct worship services according to the lease deed we made with the landlord,” said Pastor Singh. “However, pressured by the Hindu extremists, the government official along with the landlord are telling us to vacate the land as soon as possible.”
Also in Uttar Pradesh, on 25 March about 30 Hindu extremists in Maharajganj, Rae Bareilly, stormed a prayer meeting at the home of Rev Manoj Samuel and pushed, kicked, punched and strangled participants while cursing them and accusing them of forcible conversion.
“They broke the wall of the hut and stormed in, accused me of giving money to people to make them follow Jesus and mercilessly attacked us,” Pastor Samuel said. “Four Christians, including three women, were rushed to the hospital for treatment. They sustained injuries on their heads, backs and legs, and they complained of internal pain as well.”
Also on 25 March, in Agra, a mob of about 20 Hindu extremists stormed a Lent prayer meeting at the Light Worship Centre, verbally abused the Christians and beat them. The group filed a police complaint and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, but no action was taken.
Uttar Pradesh has seen a high number of anti-Christian incidents since the May 2014 election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the first 10 months since President Modi took power, there were 22 cases of violence against Christians in the state, compared with three such incidents in the prior 10 months, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
Open-Air Gospel Event attacked in Telengana state
In the southern state of Telangana, Christians sustained broken bones and wounds when Hindu extremists attacked an open-air gospel event on 8 April.
Police initially refused to help church members after the mob of about 100 Hindu extremists seriously injured four Christians in the attack in Pebbair, Mahabubnagar District.
Hindu extremists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal charged into the evangelistic meeting on the final day of the three-day event at about 9:30 p.m. shouting “Jai Shri Ram [Praise Lord Ram]”. The Hindu extremists attacked the congregation, beating pastors, women, children and the aged while insulting their faith.
“The extremists with knives and clubs stormed the prayer meeting and randomly beat up the Christians, including one pregnant woman and children, and threatened to stab the Christians with their knives,” said Y. Prathap, a local pastor who was attacked.
Three days earlier, on Easter Sunday in the same district in Makthal Mandhal village, extremists hoisted two flags, each the Hindu nationalist colour of saffron, on one of the poles of Bethel Church and harassed a pastor. “When we returned back from the sunrise service at about 8 a.m., we saw two saffron flags hoisted up inside the church premises,” Rev Christopher Meesaul said. A subsequent police-mandated “compromise” resulted in the pastor having to acquiesce to the extremists’ demands.
Mob attack at Funeral Service in Haryana state
In the northern state of Haryana, a mob of more than 700 Hindu extremists assaulted 45 Christians as they began burial rites for an elderly Christian woman at a cemetery in Faridabad on 6 March.
“The Christians were beaten very severely as the mob targeted the Christians individually,” Rev Virendar Kumar of Bethenia Church said. “Each and every Christian was being beaten up by 10-12 people from the mob. Around 35-plus Christians are hospitalised in different hospitals in Faridabad. Some are seriously injured.”
The Christians were forced to flee, taking the body of the deceased with them. The assailants said the Christian burial ground was too close to their village, although the local administration had assigned the graveyard to the Christians, and Christian churches in Faridabad have all necessary permissions and papers for it.
(Morning Star News)
Church in Chains has contacted the Indian Embassy in Dublin to seek a meeting with the Ambassador to discuss the continuing violent attacks on Christians.