In areas throughout India and Myanmar, Christmas was not a season of peace and joy. Christians faced violence and resulting injuries, as those opposed to the message of Christ stoned, slashed and terrorised local believers.
In the Kanta Kawn Township of Central Myanmar, 27 Christians had gathered together in a home for a Christmas service on 17 December. As they prayed, villagers surrounded the house and began throwing stones. They then broke into the house to vandalise it. Along with causing damages to the home, motorbikes, furniture and dishes, the perpetrator injured six of the worshippers.
At least 18 incidents were reported in four different Indian states. The worst attack was in Kowad village of Maharashtra. Around 20 men armed with sharp objects barged into the worship service of the New Life Fellowship Church on 23 December and began slashing those in attendance. As a result, seven Christians were admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital. The injuries could have been far worse had it not been for the quick thinking of Pastor Chavan’s mother, who threw ground red pepper in the faces of the attackers to thwart the violent assault.
In Haridwar, Uttarakhand, a mob from the militant Hindu group Bajrang Dal stopped four buses that were transporting 200 children to a Christmas Day program. The militants demanded the arrest of the teacher, claiming the children were to be forcefully converted. Police were called and the teacher, a Hindu, was arrested but later released. All the children, who are Hindus from the slums, were simply going to view the Christmas program as a special seasonal outing.
Several similar allegations were made in Uttar Pradesh, where police were “exhausted” from calls alleging that children were being forcefully converted during the Christmas programs. In one station alone, police received at least 25 to 30 phone calls. The volume of the calls suggests a coordinated effort from militant Hindu organisations to disrupt Christmas activities.
Source: Morning Star News
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