Hindu extremists in India have beaten up and tortured 29 Christians who refused to deny their faith in Christ and convert to Hinduism.
They also destroyed several Christian homes and forced occupants to flee their village of Katholi, reported The Daily Express, which has been running a series on persecution of Christians around the world.
According to the charity Open Doors, the Hindu extremists insisted the leader of the Christians in Katholi attend a specially convened meeting with the other Christians. When they refused to convert, they were all beaten up, including the women and children.
They ran away, tried to return four days later but were forced to flee again.
Open Doors said: "This is just one of an increasing number of stories of persecution coming out of India. Hindu extremists have been attacking Christians more frequently and more violently. This is happening across India and has increased by 34 per cent since 2013.
"Christians are also finding they are prevented from getting certain jobs, buying land or developing land in certain areas and even distributing Christian literature has led to arrests in cities like Delhi."
The charity added: "The villagers accused them saying – because of you our god and goddess are fleeing from our village. When they refused to forsake Christ they began to beat them. Beating them they drove them towards their houses and threw out their belonging."
Open Doors is supporting Christians who are victims of violence in India through the work of local Churches and partner organisations. The charity provides emergency medical fees, clothing, food rations, help with housing and trauma care.
The charity called for prayers that God will protect vulnerable Christians in India, act to protect religious liberty and ensure justice for Christians and other minorities.
Christianity is expanding in India along with Hindu persecution of Christians.
Last year, hundreds of nationalists attacked a Protestant church in Madhya Pradesh, throwing stones at Christians.
In the latest attack, local police tried to stop the beatings and torture but it still continued later.
Christianity is India's third-largest religion with nearly 30 million followers, nearly 3 per cent of India's population.