Christian Persecution Jan/Feb 2021
New Delhi, India—Incited by Hindu extremists, thousands of tribal animists in India have driven Christians in three villages from their homes in assaults police declined to stop. In a separate incident, a mob of Hindus shaved the heads of Christians, then beat the believers and paraded them through the streets.
The attacks in Chhattisgarh came in September, when “more than 3,000 agitators damaged homes, sent Christians fleeing for their lives, and left a woman hospitalized with serious injuries. But police officers’ only response was to pressure Christians to contribute to the Hindu festivals that were the touch point of the hostilities,” morningstarnews.org reported.
“From three in the afternoon till eight in the night, I pleaded with and begged the police officers to go and stop them, but they did not go,” Sivram Koyam told morningstarnews.org. “The furious mob came in search of me, and not finding me home, they picked up my wife and smashed her on the ground three times.” She suffered severe internal injuries, breathing difficulty, and could not move due to severe pain. The Christians ran for their lives.
“While the tribal animists were not Hindus, Hindu nationalist groups have worked for more than 10 years to introduce Hindu practices into tribal customs and have incited tribal villagers against Christians,” reported morningstarnews.org. “They told us to renounce our faith in Jesus Christ,” Koyam said, but the Christians refused.
In a separate incident, a mob of Hindus severely beat 37-year-old Pastor Raj Singh, who converted from Hinduism to Christianity in 2016. Calling him a traitor, they shaved his head and those of other believers; “tied garlands of old shoes and slippers around their necks”; and paraded them around, beating them with wooden sticks.
“They said, ‘You have defamed the Hindu name by becoming Christian,’” Pastor Singh said. “While they were criticizing and cursing me in foul language, one of them said to another, ‘Why are you speaking so much? Drag him out and chop him to pieces.’” Then they dragged the pastor out and began assaulting him while chanting Hindu slogans, he said.
“They pounced on me from every direction and beat me up with their hands, feet, and wooden sticks. My wife, Roseline, tried to stop the attackers from hitting me; but in the process, she was beaten and molested by the mob. She was also hit on her back and sustained internal injury.”
When his brother-in-law, Deepak Kullu, returned from a store, he was shocked to see the crowd; and before he learned what was happening, the mob began beating him. They then entered the houses of other Christians, dragging out the male members and assaulting them.
“They told my wife that they had been instructed to kill me,” he said. Singh’s four children, ages 15, 12, 9, and 2, all witnessed the assault and are in shock. “My 2-year-old daughter saw everything. She is traumatized,” he said. “So far we had only heard about these things. We had never witnessed it, and now it has happened to us. It is scary.”
“I have a small job,” Pastor Singh said, “but what I really like and do is spreading the gospel of Christ and praying for people.”
India ranks 10th on the Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
To read the full reports of these incidents, log onto morningstarnews.org.