India Christian persecution: Violent mob attacks prayer meeting in private home

Thursday, March 11, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A violent mob of around 70 people attacked a prayer meeting in a private home in India’s Chhattisgarh state Monday, destroying property, assaulting those gathered, and hospitalizing at least six believers with serious injuries, CSW reports. Chhattisgarh is one of nine states with controversial anti-conversion laws that are often used to harass and intimidate religious minorities from sharing their faith.

Some 30 people had gathered for prayer at a private home in Surguda in the Bastar district, when a large mob arrived and surrounded the house, CSW said. The attackers then launched a verbal and physical assault on the believers and burned Bibles, furniture, bicycles, and a motorbike.

The police were called and it is understood the Christians were told an investigation will be opened. It is believed those who carried out the attack are affiliated with Hindu nationalist ideology, CSW said.

In a statement, CSW’s Chief Executive Scot Bower referenced the fact that this type of attack has become increasingly common in India: “My thoughts today are foremost with those who are recovering in hospital, their families and all those who gathered in private to pray. This brutal attack on a prayer meeting is yet another example of the rise in crimes against religious minorities in several Indian states.”

According to a report by the Evangelical Fellowship of India, there were 55 incidents of persecution of Christians in Chhattisgarh state last alone. There have been eight in the state so far in 2021, CSW said. Aside from physical and verbal assaults, the persecution of Christians in India has included pressuring believers to renounce their faith, expelling them from their villages, and denying them access to community resources.