On Saturday, a mob of 50 radical Hindu nationalists brutally attacked a Christian community in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, leaving nine Christians seriously injured.
International Christian concern (ICC) reports that three of the victims are in critical condition after the group raided 14 Christian homes in the village of Metapal, in the Dantewada district.
The radicals were reportedly trying to make Metapal a “Christian-free” village.
Christians, including women and children, were beaten with fists, wooden clubs and other objects. The attack left several victims with broken bones, dislocated joints and head injuries.
“Santu, a teenager, was taken to the hospital as a dead body by four people,” Pastor Susheel Kumar, a survivor of the attack, told the ICC. “He suffered multiple fractures in his legs and hand.”
Locals say the crowd was led by four men named Joga, Lakhma, Magda and Sukka.
A report on the incident with the police against 15 members of the mafia was documented, however, no arrests were made.
“There has been intense opposition in the village against people who practice Christianity,” explained Pastor Kumar. “These Christians have been threatened several times in the past. Last year, three families fled the village after being attacked by right-wing groups. They never returned to the village.”
Another Christian leader, who asked for anonymity, told the ICC that “this was not an isolated incident” and that believers face relentless persecution.
“Christians across the state are facing intense pressure from militant religious groups. Christians are not free to exercise their faith on a par with Hindus,” said the Christian. “We want the government to treat us fairly and without prejudice.”
CBN News last month reported that a mob of 200 radical Hindu nationalists attacked worshipers at a church in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Attackers began beating church members and vandalizing church property. At least three Christian women were seriously injured and were taken to hospital.
In July, Pastor Balwinder “Bagicha” Bhatti was found dead near a road in Ferozpur (Punjab). The Protestant pastor was ambushed, beaten and fatally wounded in the back of the head with a sharp weapon.
And in June, Hindu radicals raided an educational facility that belongs to the Grace Assembly of God Church in Faridabad. The attackers took possession of the property and placed a statue of a Hindu deity there.
William Stark, ICC Regional Director for South Asia, said: “We at International Christian Concern are very concerned about the attack on the Christian community of Metapal. Violent attempts to make communities” free of Christians “must be stopped and punished if religious freedom means anything in India. Unfortunately, this attack is only a symptom of a bigger problem in India. ”
Stark continued: “Religious intolerance and religion-motivated violence have become so normalized in India that we hear reports of multiple incidents every week. Strict action must be taken against the perpetrators of this attack and severe statements must be made by Indian leaders. to dispel the notion that a community could or should be purged of a particular religious community. “