India persecution: Mob of 100 people invade pastor’s home, beat him up

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A young pastor in India’s Chhattisgarh state was beaten up Sunday by a mob of around 100 people enraged at his conversion to Christianity, The New India Express (TNIE) reports. India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

Pastor Kawalsingh Paraste, 25, was at his home at around 11 am in Polmi village in Chhattisgarh's Kabirdham district when the attackers invaded, TNIE said. Shouting slogans against religious conversion, the attackers reportedly beat the pastor up, harassed his family, and vandalized his property.

In a statement, Kabirdham Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg said: "As per the preliminary information, a crowd of over 100 people stormed into his house and allegedly damaged articles of worship and household items, and tore scriptures. They allegedly beat up Paraste and manhandled his family members, including women, and then escaped." Garg added that a complaint has been filed and an investigation will ensue, TNIE reported.

However, the president of Chhattisgarh's Christian Forum, Arun Pannalal, has accused the police and the state government of not doing enough to protect Christians against such attacks. "This is a very dangerous trend, which has become prevalent in the state and the government has failed to stop this. We just want justice. Repeated occurrence of such incidents indicates that the government has been favoring those who are involved in vandalism," Pannalal said.

Rights groups report that persecution against Christians in India has intensified greatly since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014.