India: Tribal animists attack and hospitalize Christians at child-dedication gathering

Sunday, December 6, 2020

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Twenty-one Christians were taken to hospital after a large gang of tribal animists attacked a church hall and adjoining home in Chhattisgarh state, India last week, Morning Star News reports. The attackers accused the believers of influencing and converting people to Christianity. Several Christian families have gone into hiding since the attack.

Armed with sticks, iron rods, bows and arrows, and iron sickles, the animists converged on the buildings at 1 am on November 25, Morning Star News reports. The gang then began attacking a group of around 50 Christians who were gathered at the church hall and adjacent home following a child dedication service and celebration that evening.

Survivor Laxman Mandavi told Morning Star News: “They beat up the children as well as the women who were cooking food outside. While the children were beaten up with hands and feet, the others were shot at with arrows and beaten up with iron rods.” Moreover, Mandavi said, there was an attempted rape: “The attackers surrounded an unmarried sister and tore her clothes attempting to rape her. When she started screaming loudly, they dragged her outside and beat her black and blue. She sustained severe internal injuries.”

Another victim, 24-year-old Laxshu Madkam, told Morning Star News: “It was complete mayhem, and people were running to save their lives.”

A complaint against 16 identified attackers was filed with the police, who registered the case under penal code sections for rioting, unlawful assembly, obscene acts, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation.