10/09/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), a church in India’s Uttarakhand state was attacked by a mob of 200 radical Hindu nationalists earlier this week. Christian leaders in Uttarakhand are now calling on authorities to take strict action against the mob that left a church damaged and at least three Christians seriously injured.
On October 3, Christians in Roorkee Town gathered for Sunday morning worship. As the service was taking place, a mob of 200 radical Hindu nationalists barged into the church.
Once inside, the radicals thrashed the congregants and vandalized church properties. At least three Christian women sustained serious injuries and were rushed to the hospital in Dehradun. The radicals justified their actions by claiming the church was engaged in illegal conversion activities.
“We demand strict action against them and police protection for us,” Prio Sadhana Lanse, a leader in the church, told UCAN.
Filing a report with local police, Lanse claimed that the mob was filled with members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Bajrang Dal. She further claimed to have recognized many individuals in the mob as they have been threatening to shut down her church.
Local police have registered a case against the members of the mob, but no arrests have been made so far. The church has also been provided with police protection.
“The church that was attacked has been active for the past 30-40 years,” Reverend Titoo Peter of the Methodist Church told UCAN. “Christians in Roorkee enjoy good relations with people of other faiths and this is the first incident of a church being attacked. It is the handiwork of some bad elements who do not want peace and harmony in the area.”
In states where anti-conversion laws are currently enacted, including Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, they are widely abused. Radical nationalists falsely accuse Christians of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook violence perpetrated against Christians due to false accusations of forced conversion.
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