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Over 60 violent attacks against Christia...

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Over 60 violent attacks against Christians in India this year

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

With two - three incidents of violence against the community each week in 2011, Christians in India, continue to face the worst ever persecution in India.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary, Evangelical Fellowship of India

Over 60 violent anti-Christian attacks were recorded in India during the first half of 2011 as Hindu extremists continue to target churches, pastors and Christian families.

Christians in India face two-three violent incidents every week
Christians in India face two-three violent incidents every week

In one incident in Jharkhand state at the end of May, five Christian families fled their homes in fear after being beaten up by Hindu extremists. One woman was hospitalised, suffering internal injuries, while another woman - a mother of three - was abducted and held for a month until a court ordered her release. Police have failed to make any arrests in connection with this incident.

In April, an angry mob of 150 Hindu extremists attacked a Christian worship meeting in Delhi and indiscriminately beat up participants, including women and children. Two Christians required hospital treatment for head injuries. The assailants also destroyed furniture and vehicles.

Saul Pradhan, a 45-year-old Christian pastor, whose house was torched by Hindu fundamentalists two years ago, was found dead in Kandhamal, Orissa state, in January. The police claimed that his death was due to cold, but Saul's body bore marks of assault.

The southern state of Karnataka, which is governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been worst hit by the anti-Christian violence; of the 64 incidents recorded throughout the country, 20 happened in Karnataka. These include pastors and Christians being threatened and beaten, church services being disrupted and the buildings ransacked, and Christian property being seized or destroyed.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India, which recorded the anti-Christian incidents, said it was "deeply concerned at the continued hostility against the Christian minority community in the country". As well as violent attacks, there have been numerous cases of Christians being falsely accused and arrested on charges of "forcible conversions".

Rather than protecting the Christian community, the police often take action against them. Several Christian victims have been forced to accept a compromise with their attackers, including submitting to demands to leave the village or area, not conducting worship services in their homes or paying a fine.

EFI said:

The blatant disregard for the law by alleged Hindutva proponents, coupled with the inaction and often bias of the police in favour of the attackers, has left the community vulnerable and helpless in the onslaught of violence.

EFI called for state governments to take immediate steps to protect the Christian minority, and for the Karnataka authorities to withdraw the "false and malicious cases" that have been registered against Christians.

 

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  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

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