A mob of some 200 Hindu nationalists attacked a house church during its worship service in India’s eastern state of Chhattisgarh, injuring the pastor and at least two other Christians and forcibly converting a Christian woman to Hinduism.
The mob, apparently led by a man identified as Sanjith Ng, assaulted the Christians in a church in Odagoan village in Chhattisgarh’s Kondagaon District on Sunday.
Sanjith Ng barged into the house where the worship service was underway and beat Pastor Hemanth Kandapan and a member of the congregation, identified as Sankar Salam. The man then dragged the pastor out of the house where more than 200 people had gathered.
The mob brutally beat the pastor and Salam, claiming they were illegally converting Hindus to Christianity. The pastor and the congregant sustained severe internal injuries and had to be hospitalised.
The mob threatened the Christians, saying they would be killed if they continued to hold prayers in the village.
“I was under house arrested for nearly nine hours,” Pastor Kandapan was quoted as saying.
“All through that time I was hackled and abused by the mob even in the presence of the police.”
On Monday, leaders of the Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) forced the Christians to participate in a religious ceremony where a Christian woman, named Sunderi Bathi, was forcibly converted to Hinduism.
“The situation in the village is still tense,” Pastor Kandapan said.
“We do not know how long these families will have to stay out of their homes,” he added, referring to five families that had fled the village.
Attacks against tribal Christians have increased since radical Hindu groups launched a campaign in 2020 to stop the country’s tribal and indigenous, people from converting to Christianity. These groups have been demanding that the government ban those who convert from receiving education and employment opportunities.
Source: International Christian Concern, The Christian Post
Let us pray.
- Ask the Lord to give the believers strength and courage. Pray for healing for the injured and
- Pray that these Christians will be able to gather and worship freely. Ask the Lord for
wisdom, leading and protection.
- Pray for the hearts of the radicals and the police to be changed, through the work of the Holy Spirit.