12/14/2021 India (International Christian Concern) –
According to NDTV, a church in India’s Haryana state was attacked by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists last Thursday, December 9. The attack was mostly thwarted, however, because police were made aware of the planned attack and dispersed officers to the church to protect the congregation.
The incident took place in Rohtak where the targeted church has been operating for approximately six years with prayer services on Sundays and Thursdays. After becoming aware of the potential attack, police officers were sent to the church to warn the Christians and monitor the situation.
“There was a gathering for which no permission had been obtained,” Captain Manoj Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak, told reporters referring to the mob of radicals. “So, it was disbursed, and the situation is normal now.”
According to local reports, the radicals claimed the church was engaging in illegal forced religious conversions. However, a police investigation into the accusation found no evidence to support this claim.
“People come here out of devotion, just like any other place of worship,” the associate pastor of the church said. “We never forced anyone to come here.”
Across India, false claims of forced religious conversions are used by radical Hindu nationalists to harass Christians and justify attacks on their places of worship. In most cases, local authorities work hand in glove with the radicals, allowing accusations of forced conversion to justify street violence.
In Haryana, Bharatiya Janata Party politicians have called for the enactment of an anti-conversion law, citing false claims of mass fraudulent conversions to Christianity. If enacted, Haryana would join nine other states where anti-conversion laws are widely abused by radical Hindu nationalists to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities.