11/03/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – On March 8, a Christian worship service in central India was brutally attacked by a mob wielding axes, stones and wooden clubs. As a result of the attack, at least eight Christians were injured and hospitalized.
According to local sources, the attack took place in the Bastar district of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. At around 7 p.m., a mob of 30 men, led by a man named Ando Guddi, attacked a house church where 150 Christians had gathered for worship.
The mob stormed the house and attacked the Christians with axes, stones and wooden clubs. The mob falsely claimed Christians were involved in illegal religious conversions to justify their assault.
Many Christians were injured, including eight who sustained serious injuries and had to be hospitalized. The crowd also burned a motorcycle and several bikes belonging to Christians.
“There is an attempt by local politicians to divide people along religious lines,A local Christian told International Christian Concern (ICC). “This is not an isolated incident. There is so much going on against Christians and pastors. The police have been less than helpful when this sort of thing takes place.“
Police did not file an initial information report regarding the incident. This was despite the fact that the police were called to the location where the attack took place.
Pastor Samson Bhagel, one of the Christians seriously injured in the attack, has led 13 congregations in Bastar district for 11 years. Following the attack, the local Christian community was gripped by a sense of fear and insecurity.
“It is very serious what happened to my husband and other Christians,âDurasth Bhagel, wife of Pastor Bhagel, told ICC. “We have never experienced this kind of difficult situation.“
Across India, attacks on Christians and their places of worship continue to be reported in increasing number and severity. Radical Hindu nationalists continue to use false claims of fraudulent religious conversions to justify anti-Christian violence and the police look the other way.
For interviews, contact Alison Garcia: [email protected].