11/04/2021 India (International Christian Concern) –
On November 2, two pastors were ruthlessly beaten by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Chhattisgarh state. According to local reports, the radicals disrupted a prayer meeting, beat the two pastors, burned Bibles, and demanded the Christians stop holding worship services in the village.
Local sources report that the attack started around 4 p.m. when a mob led by Rajnikanth Devaghan and Nilambari Sahu disrupted a prayer meeting taking place in Biler village, located in the Dhamteri District. The mob dragged Pastor Sasharath Maanikpuri and Pastor Kesar Manikpuri from the house where the prayer meeting was taking place, verbally abused them, and beat them.
The mob then confiscated Bibles and other Christian texts from the pastors and the congregation and burned them in the street outside of the building where the prayer meeting was taking place. The radicals told the Christians to turn back to Hinduism and threatened that if they continued to hold worship services, they would be killed. One nationalist even told the Christians that they were not allowed to read the Bible, or any other book related to the Christian faith.
Attacks on Christians and their placed of worship in India have continued to increase both in number and severity. In Chhattisgarh, a recent spike in persecution can be attributed to a series of public rallies put on by radical Hindu nationalists where hate speeches against Christians are common. In one speech, a nationalist leader even called for the beheading of Christian evangelists in Chhattisgarh.