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India: Hindu nationalists beat Christians at prayer meeting, burn Bibles

The Christians of India today are being called upon to have the courage and perseverance of the Holy Martyrs. They are in urgent need of protection from government and law enforcement authorities who, all too often, side with their persecutors. In India, as in so many other nations, the persecution of Christians continues to become more commonplace and aggressive by the day, while authorities do nothing to stop it.

“Christians beaten, Bibles burnt at prayer meeting,” CSW.org, April 1, 2019:

A prayer meeting in a home in India’s Tamil Nadu state was disrupted on 19 March by approximately 15 people from the Hindu Munani (Hindu Front) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), which is the religious arm of the RSS, a Hindu nationalist movement.

The prayer meeting was being held in the home of a Christian student named Siddappa, who lives in Kurubatti in the city of Hosur. Neethiraj of the India Evangelical Mission had visited the home of the student on 19 March to pray along with a friend named Chandrakant and his sick 16 year old relative.

Soon after the prayer meeting began, the intruders went upstairs and questioned the men about their purpose for gathering. The Christians were manhandled and dragged down the stairs and taken to the middle of the street outside Siddappa’s home.

Neethiraj’s bag which contained Christian tracts was forcefully emptied on the street. The attackers also gathered all the Bibles and hymn books from Siddappa’s home. Local sources say that Neethiraj was forced to set the items on fire with petrol, which the perpetrators had extracted from a nearby vehicle, despite pleas from the Christians not to set the Bibles on fire….

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “We are deeply concerned that religious minorities who are simply exercising their right to practice their religions or beliefs are being harassed and targeted by non-state actors with impunity. We urge the government of India to prosecute those involved in targeting religious minorities, and implement measures to encourage the co-existence of all religions in India.”

Photo by Nileshantony92 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27523168

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