It is not surprising that attacks are increasing in Karnataka as state elections are scheduled to occur early next year. Hindu hard-line groups want to silence Christians and ensure that they are unable to practise their faith.
On the evening of 17 September, the attackers broke into the church through the roof and proceeded to burn church furniture and Christian literature. Pastor Naga Raja told International Christian Concern, “I have lost everything that was in the church. They burnt Bibles, Gospel literature, song books, and DVDs that were stocked in the church. They have even destroyed the church furniture and took away the PA system including speakers…and carpets.”
A First Incident Report (FIR) was registered at a local police station in Karnataka, but as of 9 October the culprits have still not been identified.
After the attack, church attendance dropped significantly. “On [a] normal Sunday, more than 100 Christians worshipped in my church,” said Pastor Naga Raja, “but on the 24 [of] September 2017, not even 20 were at the church for worship. This is because they are terrified of the attack on the church.”
Such attacks are not new in Karnataka. A similar attack occurred on 26 January. Pastor Basanna was brutally attacked by Hindu radicals who also burned his church’s Bibles, furniture, and building.
In spite of India’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, Christians continue to face threats and attacks. Christians often cannot exercise their freedom of religion, due to fear of being attacked.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Pray that India’s government will seek justice for persecuted religious minorities and begin protecting the rights of all, regardless of their religious affiliation.
- Pray Pastor Naga Raja may bring encouragement to the congregation to help them to overcome the ordeal and return to church to worship the Lord and learn from His word.
- Pray this incident may be used by the Lord to strengthen the faith of believers and make them ever reliant on Him.