India: Mob of Hindu extremists attack house church in Chhattisgarh state

Monday, January 17, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - As the persecution of Christians continues to intensify across India, a house church in Chhattisgarh state was violently attacked by a mob of 200 Hindu nationalists on January 9, International Chrisitan Concern (ICC) reports.

The month’s attack took place on a house church in Odagoan village in the Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh state. Two congregants were seriously injured and were hospitalized, ICC said. The attack was so brutal, five Christian families fled Kondagaon District, fearing for their safety.

Pastor Hemanth Kandapan told ICC that the attack began Hindu extremist Sanjith Ng stormed into the service that was underway and began beating members of the congregation. Meanwhile, over 200 extremists had gathered outside. Using foul language, the mob was baying against Christians forcing Hindus to convert, threatening to kill church members if they continued to hold services in the village.

Pastor Hemanth was dragged outside, where he and a believer called Sankar Salam were brutally beaten by the mob; they were taken to hospital with serious internal injuries, ICC reports. Concerning the families who left the village following the incident, the pastor said: “The situation in the village is still tense. We do not know how long these families will have to stay out of their homes.”

ICC said in its report that attacks on Christians in the state have been intensifying for months. “Hate speeches made by radical Hindu nationalists have gone unchecked in Chhattisgarh for months,'' ICC said. “In late December, Hindu nationalist leaders called for Christians to be shot if they were caught engaging in conversion activities.”

India ranked 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.