03/11/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – On March 8, a Christian worship service in Central India was brutally attacked by a mob wielding axes, stones, and wooden clubs. As a result of the attack, at least eight Christians were injured and hospitalized.
According to local sources, the attack took place in the Bastar District of India’s Chhattisgarh State. At approximately 7 P.M., a mob of 30 men, led by a man named Ando Guddi, attacked a house church where 150 Christians had gathered for worship.
The mob stormed the house and attacked the Christians with axes, stones, and wooden clubs. The mob falsely claimed the Christians were involved in illegal religious conversions to justify their assault.
Many Christians were injured, including eight who sustained serious injuries and required hospitalization. The mob also burned a motorbike and several bicycles belonging to Christians.
“There is an attempt by the local politicians to divide people on religious lines,” a local Christian told International Christian Concern (ICC). “This is not an isolated incident. There is so much going on against Christians and pastors. Police have been less than helpful when these kinds of things take place.”
Police did not file a First Information Report regarding the incident. This was in spite of the fact that police were called to the location where the attack occurred.
Pastor Samson Bhagel, one of the Christians seriously injured in the attack, has been leading 13 congregations in the Bastar District for the past 11 years. Following the attack, the local Christian community has been gripped with a sense of fear and insecurity.
“This is very bad what happened to my husband and the other Christians,” Durasth Bhagel, Pastor Bhagel’s wife, told ICC. “We have never experienced this kind of rough situation.”
Across India, attacks on Christians and their places of worship continue to be reported in increasing number and severity. Radical Hindu nationalists continue to use false allegations of fraudulent religious conversions to justify anti-Christian violence and police look the other way.