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India: Hindu radicals attack Christian prayer hall

The persecution of Christians in India continues to escalate. As Christianity continues to grow in the country, Hindu radicals are feeling increasingly threatened, and are lashing out more frequently, generally with little or no pushback from law enforcement officials, as those officials often side with the persecutors. In this case, the radicals “ransacked everything that belonged to the church” and injured four people, including two children.

Please pray that peace would prevail for the Christians in India, and that the light of Holy Orthodoxy would again dawn in this land to which St. Thomas the Apostle first brought the Gospel.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Christian prayer hall dedicated to Jesus Christ attacked by Hindu radicals,” by Samuel Smith, Christian Post, January 1, 2020:

A Christian community hall in India’s predominantly Hindu West Bengal state was attacked by Hindu radicals during a launch ceremony, according to local reports. 

The Indian English daily newspaper The Telegraph reports that three people linked to President Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party were arrested on Sunday night for an attack on a community center dedicated to Jesus Christ in East Midnapore Village. 

The attack took place on Saturday afternoon when around 800 people from 28 different villages were gathered for the building’s inauguration. The building is called Jishu’r Aradhona Griho (or Jesus’s Prayer Home). 

Hindus in the area were suspicious that the community hall would be used to convert Hindus to Christianity. 

A first information report was filed with police by the organizer, pastor Anup Kumar Gosh. Gosh said that a mob of about 20 men attacked with crude bombs and sticks. The activists are also said to have planted Hindu flags. 

News 18 India reports that the attackers first attacked vehicles parked in the vicinity of the center and then hurled crude bombs and beat worshipers as they tried to flee. The men also entered the church and destroyed church property. 

“They damaged everything that belonged to the church,” Gosh told News 18. 

Gosh told The Telegraph that four people, including two children, were injured in the incident. 

Kanai Lal Das, the husband of a BJP official, was accused of being the leader of the attack. BJP leader Swapan Ray, however, told The Telegraph that Das and the three men who were arrested have been framed.

District Superintendent of Police V. Solomon Nesakumar told News 18 India that seven men were accused of participating in the assault….

Despite increasing religious freedom concerns in India, the country is not recognized by the U.S. State Department as a “country of particular concern” for religious freedom violations. However, India is listed by USCIRF as a “Tier 2” country of concern. 

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