08/04/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, a pastor in India’s Madhya Pradesh state was brutally beaten by radical Hindu nationalists. The radicals reportedly justified their attack by falsely accusing the pastor of forcefully converting poor tribal people to Christianity.
Asia News reports that Pastor Bharat from Tichkiya was brutally attacked by radical Hindu nationalists as he was leading a prayer meeting with three other Christians in his home. The radicals accused Pastor Bharat of “enticing” members of the local tribal population into converting to Christianity. After a heated argument, the radicals beat Pastor Bharat and vandalized his prayer center.
“The only thing [Pastor Bharat] has is the good news,” Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Asia News in response to the radicals’ accusation. “He freely gives this to anyone who is ready to listen to him and for this reason he has been targeted.”
“Unfortunately, Pentecostal Christians have become the target of a violent campaign in many Indian states,” George said.
In January, Madhya Pradesh enacted a new anti-conversion law which criminalizes forced religious conversions. Radical Hindu nationalists use this law as a legal cover to persecute Christians by falsely accusing their victims of violating the law.
In the first six months of the law’s enactment, International Christian Concern documented at least 48 violent attacks on the Christian community of Madhya Pradesh.