by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - As persecution of Christians in India continues, Hindu radicals violently assaulted and threatened to kill two pastors in Chhattisgarh state earlier this month, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Chhattisgarh state has seen a spike in attacks on Christians following inciting hate speeches against believers made by Hindu nationalists at public rallies.
Pastor Sasharath Maanikpuri and Pastor Kesar Manikpuri were attending an afternoon prayer meeting in Biler village, Dhamteri District on November 2, when a mob of radical Hindus arrived and demanded that all Christian services be stopped, ICC said.
Led by Rajnikanth Devaghan and Nilambari Sahu, the mob dragged the two pastors out of the house and beat them up, ICC reports. The Hindus ordered the pastors to return to Hinduism and threatened to kill them if they continued to hold Christian services.
The radicals went on to seize Bibles belonging to congregants and to burn them in the street, ICC said. One of the mob told the pastors they are forbidden to read the Bible.
Radical Hindu persecution of believers in India has increased dramatically since 2014, when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power. In 2013 India ranked 31 on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted; this year it ranked 10.