Violent Attacks on Christians Increase in India
Christians in India are facing a fresh wave of persecution after numerous people are left needing hospital treatment.
Published 09 February 2006 | Christian Today
|TOP|Numerous people have been left needing hospital treatment after a spate of attacks on Christians in central India, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
The first of three separate attacks on Christians in the Madhya Pradesh region occurred during a prayer meeting in a Christian home in Chapri, Jhabua district, on Jan. 25th.
According to reports, two tribal church leaders, Raj Singh Amblia and Hateh Singh Rawat, were assaulted by police, before being taken to the police station where they were threatened with a list of serious consequences if they continued with their Christian activities.
The two church leaders are believed to still be in custody and have allegedly incurred repeated assaults and mockery of their faith. They were also refused treatment by hospital staff who said they needed written authorisation form the police.
One day later, Hindu extremists beat three leaders belonging to the Church of the Nazarene in Nagpur, Maharashtra, before being arrested on the basis of accusations by an extremist Hindu group that the leaders had forcibly converted 23 tribal people.
The police also confiscated Christian literature as well as other documents from the three men, Pravin Pawar, Sanat Pawar and Madin Masih.
The group of tribal men were staying in the Madan Mahal area of Jabalpur before going on to a convention held by the church. The men were then forced to sign affidavits by the Hindu extremists, stating that they were being taken to the convention by the three church leaders against their will.
|AD|According to CSW, a crowd of onlookers were incited by the Hindu extremists to attack and beat the three men as they were being arrested.
The third reported attack was the most violent and took place in the state capital Bhopal on Jan. 28th.
According to reports, around 30 people threw stones at the building where a Christian meeting was taking place and shouted anti-Christian slogans. The organisers were also accused by the mob of carrying out forced conversions before attacking ten participants with sticks and rods.
Six victims were taken to hospital following the attack, including Pastor Sam Francis who suffered fractures in his hands and legs.
Kidshore Sadhwani, another Christian, also suffered a fractured hand and was given stitches for a head wound.
Property was also damaged, with one pastor’s car being damaged, as well as the scooter of another pastor.
Concern has been voiced following the attacks in the state capital, seen to exemplify the vulnerability of religious minorities under the BJP State Government.
Alexa Papadouris, CSW's Advocacy Director, said: "These attacks against Christians have left several people badly injured and many more with their faith in the protection of the state deeply shaken.
"The severe injuries suffered by those attacked in Bhopal show the determination of extremist groups to terrify Christians into silence.
"CSW will continue to work to ensure the safety and religious freedom of all faith communities in India."