VIOLENT ATTACKS against Christians and churches in India have increased this past summer.
Some 18 incidents were recorded by World Watch Monitor during July, August and the beginning of September. The states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha had 16 incidents due to anti-conversion laws.
The latest attack saw a Hindu extremist mob armed with guns, axes, spades and clubs break up a prayer meeting of Christians from Anugrab (Grace) Church in Hututage Village, Palamu District, Jharkhand State on September 4.
The believers had gathered for prayer at a house when some local women entered and verbally abused Pastor Sarvajit Bharti and others. Hindu extremist men then entered and demanded the Christians renounce Christ and worship Hindu idols instead.
Associate Pastor Mitilesh Kumar told the Hindus they would not stop and the extremists then returned with weapons. Pastor Sarvajit was hidden by his church on the roof of the building, so the Hindus beat the Christians. Munni Devi, 60, was beaten so badly that her whole body turned blue and black with both hands fractured. Mani Matiya, 30, was hit on the head with a spade and fell unconscious. Mukh Dev was gashed on the head with an axe and Associate Pastor Kumar, 22, was cut on the head with bruises. Six of the Christians needed hospital treatment.
In another incident, two Christian boys, 10 and 12, from Sagarkatta village died in June after they were given poisoned jackfruit by Hindu extremists.