Christian Body Condemns Attacks on Minorities in India

|TOP|A leading Christian body in India has expressed alarm earlier in the week over the number of attacks on minorities, particularly Christians, in the country that are increasing at an alarming rate.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) said that “minorities, mainly the Christians, are facing a series of attacks and assaults by hardliner Hindu groups in Chhattisgarh”.

In one incident in Bothli village 45km west of Jaipur, a weekly Sunday prayer meeting was broken up by dozens of activists from extremist Hindu group Dharam Sena.

The group of activists disrupted the meeting and then proceeded to beat up several members of the prayer group, said Vijayesh Lal, co-ordinator of the Delhi-based organisation, in a statement.

|AD|According to the statement, “'Even an eight-month pregnant Christian lady was punched and kicked at the stomach repeatedly by the fundamentalists and she had to be shifted to a hospital”.

The EFI also claimed that the police have largely ignored complaints lodged by Christians over such attacks and assaults.

The incidents follow numerous other assaults on churches and Christian groups that have taken place across India this year.

Earlier in the month a mob of Hindu extremists stormed into an independent church in Gauri Nadi village, near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, vandalising the church and assaulting church members, including a pastor.

The violent mob also filed a police complaint against the church pastor for "forcibly" converting Hindus.
The attackers assaulted some church members including new believer, Dinanath Tiwari (35), whose wife was recently healed of cancer after other Christians prayed for her.

The mob also beat up Pastor Munnu Kujur, who repeatedly denied that his church was forcibly converting people. The Hindu extremists threatened to throw acid on Kujur's face and bomb his church if he did not stop converting Hindus to Christianity.

According to reports obtained by the Christian advocacy group, the All India Christian Council (AICC), the mob seized all the copies of the Bible kept in the church as "evidence" that the church was indulging in illegal conversions by distributing them. The mob dragged away Pastor Kujur in their vehicle to the nearby Barela police station to lodge a formal complaint against him.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, also severely condemned persecution against Christians in India, after two Christian women were gang-raped in the village of Madhya Pradesh, India.