Evangelical Christians Attacked in India for Singing Christmas Carols

Evangelical Christians in India have been attacked by Hindu militants for singing Christmas carols. The shocking attack has raised concerns for Christians in the region, particularly as elsewhere in India news has also emerged that a church was attacked and completely destroyed by extremists.

The Church of God in Jalanpur village in the central state of Chhattisgarh had been running a Christmas program : "They started on the 21th [of December] distributing free gifts of New Testaments in several [nearby] villages. On [December] 23 they did this in their [own] village," Pastor James Ram said in a statement distributed by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

He added, "On 24th at about noon [local time] some activists of the Bajrang Dal and the Dharam Raksha Sena [groups] burnt some of the Bibles in public in the centre of town..."

20 young people were then attacked whilst holding a procession with balloons, and singing Christmas carols.

"A gang of activists from the BJP [party], Bajrang Dal and Dharam Raksha Sena [groups]" became angry as they saw the procession, explains the GCIC. They "objected to the believers singing carols and distributing Christian literature, and attacked the church members and beat them up".

Reports alleged that they were dragged to a nearby town where militants stopped a woman on her way to the toilet, carrying a vessel of water. "The group was forced to drink this water and to say "Jai Shri Ram" - a slogan of the Hindu radicals, along with the beat of drums and slogan-shouting," the GCIC claimed.

Christian Today has learned that up to 5 believers were injured in the attacks, whilst a total of 11 people were arrested on "false charges" of "illegal conversion", Worthy News explains. However, they were all released on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.