Hindu Extremists Destroy Church In India

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - Christian villagers in India’s eastern Odisha State were recovering Tuesday after some 150 Hindu extremists attacked and destroyed their church building, advocacy groups said.

The church in Bodoguda village was reportedly being built for a small community of twelve Christian families who live among 60 Hindu families.

Local Christian leaders have a police complaint and demanded compensation. Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, suggested that Hindu hardliners organized the destruction. “This new attack against the Christians of the village of Bodoguda is not spontaneous. The crowd was armed,” he said in published remarks.

George expressed concern about the reluctance of law enforcement to
intervene. He added that “the failure” of police to take action against the perpetrators in previous incidents “strengthens extremists.”

Without police action against them, extremists “gain political space for their attacks on vulnerable Christian minorities. Alongside a question of order, there is a serious problem that affects religious freedom, ” George stressed.

Advocacy organization Barnabas Fund said the Evangelical Fellowship of India group recorded “327 instances of discrimination” and targeted violence against Christians in India in 2020. Those figures reportedly included five murders, at least six churches burnt or destroyed, and 26 incidents of social boycotting, it said.

Evangelical leaders said that especially Christians in India’s rural areas “were victims of violence, had their congregational prayers disturbed, and places of worship attacked.”

It underscores ongoing tensions between India’s Hindu majority and minority Christians, who comprise roughly 2 percent of the 1.3 billion population.