A crowd of around 150 Hindu extremists attacked and destroyed a church building which was being constructed in the village of Bodoguda, Odisha State, India.
The church was being built for a small community of twelve Christian families who live alongside 60 Hindu families.
A complaint has been made by local Christian leaders to the police accompanied by a request for compensation.
Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said, “This new attack against the Christians of the village of Bodoguda is not spontaneous. The crowd was armed.”
Mr George added that the failure of police to take action against the perpetrators in previous incidents “strengthens extremists who gain political space for their attacks on vulnerable Christian minorities. Alongside a question of order, there is a serious problem that affects religious freedom.”
In January the Evangelical Fellowship of India announced that it had recorded 327 instances of discrimination and targeted violence against Christians in India in 2020, including five murders, at least six churches burnt or destroyed and 26 incidents of social boycotting.
This, the EFI stated, was “by no means an exhaustive list … Christians, especially in rural areas of several states across the country, were victims of violence, had their congregational prayers disturbed, and places of worship attacked.”