India: Hindu nationalists attack congregants in Karnataka state

Monday, November 22, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - As Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in India continues to intensify, on November 14 a mob of Hindu radicals stormed the Mercy Divine Church in Bangalor, Karnataka state, throwing stones and chairs at congregants, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Christian persecution in India has increased dramatically since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014.

In a statement to ICC, Pastor John of Mercy Divine Church said that on the day of the attack around 50 radical Hindus from the Jagarana Vedike group, arrived at the church during a service. Then, they began to attack the congregation of about 120 believers with stones and chairs.

“This is not new to me,” Pastor John told ICC. “In the last 11 years, we have faced opposition at least twenty times. At one point, I was beaten unconscious. The attackers thought I was dead, so they threw me on the roadside. By the grace of God, I am alive and continue to serve him.”

According to ICC, Hindu attacks on Christians and their churches have intensified in Karnataka, like they have in other Indian states. “Leaders in the state government have declared their intention to enact an anti-conversion law and this has encouraged anti-Christian actions by radical Hindu nationalists residing in the state,” ICC said in its report.

Prior to the Bharatiya Janata Party coming to power in 2014, India had ranked 31 on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted; it now ranks 10 on the list.