by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Seven Christians in India’s Uttar Pradesh state were jailed last month after a mob of Hindu extremists violently attacked their church and accused them of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. India ranks 10 on the 2021 US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
According to ICC, there have been many instances in Uttar Pradesh where Christians are imprisoned under anti-conversion laws on false forced conversion charges after being attacked by radical Hindu nationalists.
Believers in the Mau District of Uttar Pradesh had gathered for a Sunday service on October 10 when a mob of around 100 Hindu radicals stormed the church and began physically assaulting congregants, ICC said. Several believers were injured and Bibles were confiscated.
Although the police arrived when called, they did not help the believers; indeed, they seemed to be on the side of the Hindus. “The police arrived as if they knew this was going to happen,” Geetha, a member of the Christian community, told International Christian Concern.
“Surprisingly, instead of controlling the situation and protecting the Christians, they began to hit the innocent Christians who were attending the worship service. The police chased the congregants and took seven Christians to the police station.” The believers were subsequently charged under the anti-conversion law and jailed. The church was sealed off and no service has taken place there since.
“Since the anti-conversion law was enacted in Uttar Pradesh, Christians and Muslims have endured an unprecedented wave of persecution,” ICC said in its report. “Since late June, ICC has documented at least 56 incidents of religiously motivated violence taking place in Uttar Pradesh justified by the enactment of the anti-conversion law. ”