Christian politician stabbed to death in India; Christians injured & Bibles destroyed during attack on Gideons International stall

A Christian politician was stabbed to death in a church in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Sunday (2 October). Dhanasekharan was at a church service when a phone call lured him outside, where five men were waiting for him. The 34-year-old ran into a nearby church but was caught and killed. Elsewhere in India, in Kanataka state, Christian volunteers were assaulted and Bibles destroyed as around 20 Hindu extremists attacked a Gideons International stall during a festival which began on 24 September.

Indian Christians in prayer
Indian Christians in prayer

Dhanasekharan was a member of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a state political party. He served the party locally as both a councillor and youth wing secretary. He was also involved with sand supply and lorry transport. He was murdered in Padappai, a small town near Chennai. After being drawn outside by the phone call, he was chased for around 150 metres before being caught. He was attacked with sickles and other sharp weapons. Other Christians attending the church at the time of the attack fled for fear of their lives.

A senior police official reported, “Preliminary inquiries have given us clues and we will arrest the killers soon.” He continued, “Either business or political rivalry could be the reason for the murder.” However, Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, has told Agenzia Fides, “This killing is yet another proof that Christian minorities are particularly vulnerable.” He adds, “Police are investigating but we believe Dhanasekharan was also killed because of his faith.”

The attack on a stall run by Gideons International, a ministry which distributes Bibles and Scriptures, took place during a four-day annual agricultural festival called Krishi Mela. The charity rented a stall at the festival from which they offered free copies of the Bible in various Indian languages. The attack against them was unprovoked. It is not yet known how many Christians were attacked and the extent of their injuries.

Attacks against Christians in India continue to increase. The All India Christian Minority Front (AICMF) successfully held a protest last Saturday (1 October) in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, to address the “communal forces” that have a created a climate of fear amongst minority Christian communities. According to the group’s official Facebook page the event was “a big success”.

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