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On 29 August, Hindu fundamentalists conducted an orchestrated attack on Christians gathered for a peaceful Sunday worship service in Polmi village in India’s Chhattisgarh state. 

Approximately 60 Christians were gathered in the church when a mob of between 150 and 200 armed religious fundamentalists from the nearby village of Bhejgar barged in at around 10am shouting Hindu chants of “Long Live Shri Ram”.

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

The mob then proceeded to beat all those gathered in the church, including women and children. Some of the women had their saris ripped off and their hair pulled, while the men were beaten with sticks and the altar and musical instruments were broken. The mob also tore a Bible from the pulpit and trampled it under their feet, and they placed Hindu idols inside the church and worshipped them.

When some of the women stood up to the attackers and questioned the reason for the vandalism, they were told that since they were born in India, they had to remain Hindus and worship Hindu deities.

While the pastor of the church submitted a written complaint which named the perpetrators of the attack, the police initially neglected to register a First Information Report (FIR). A FIR was finally filed at around 11pm on 29 August, but the police removed the names of the individuals mentioned in the pastor’s complaint.

The church in Polmi has been used as a place of worship for almost 20 years. It was planted by Sonsingh Paraste, and is currently led by Mr Paraste’s son, Kamal Singh Paraste, after his father passed away from COVID-19. Sources report that the Christians had lived in peace with the other villagers for years prior to the attack.

Let us pray.

  • Pray the church members will experience God’s healing, encouraging and strengthening presence as they come to terms with the attack.
  • Pray the authorities will take the situation seriously and act in a just manner towards all parties.
  • Pray the Christians will be willing to forgive and intercede for the fundamentalists who perpetrated this attack.