By Santosh Digal, Worthy News Correspondent
BANGALORE, INDIA (Worthy News)– Hindu militants twice attacked evangelical Christians in India’s southern state of Karnataka, injuring several believers, including women and children, Christians told Worthy News.
In the bloodiest incident, on Christmas Day, an angry Hindu mob of 20 persons raided a home where several believers gathered for dinner, including pastor Suresh of the local New Life Church congregation in Surathkal town, and his family, local residents added.
Christians said Hindu’s entered the house of Adiveppa Kashennavar armed with “big stones, sticks and clubs, shouting abusive slogans.” They were “assaulting all of them, including women and children, hitting them and causing severe injuries to their head and chest.”
Pastor Suresh, who uses only one name, was allegedly beaten with clubs while trying to rescue others. His wife, Latha, was seriously injured after being beaten on her chest with a wooden club, according to witnesses.
Additionally two other persons, identified as Annamma and Roshini, received head injuries when they were attacked while another Christian, Jason, reportedly fractured his leg after being hit with a club . Deepak, who also attended the gathering, injured his face and nose after he was beaten by extremists, Christians said.
Wen they left, the Hindu’s were heard shouting that they “would kill the Christians,” according to residents.
It was not immediately clear which group was responsible for the reported December 25 violence, but several Hindu groups have openly criticized the spread of Christianity in India.
Police officials were reportedly reluctant to investigate case, asking injured Christians “How many rupees”, the Indian currency, “were paid to them for their conversion.”
Local Christian Walter Maben said local police seemed to support the attackers as “nobody has been arrested and the Christians are being questioned about their religious conversion.”
In a separate incident, Thursday, December 28, about ten suspected Hindu militants stormed the Hebron Full Gospel Assembly Church, in the town of Haleyangadi, shouting threats and saying they would “not let the church continue at the place,” believers said.
The incident reportedly happened while the pastor’s wife, his two children, his mother, brother-in-law and a friend were praying inside the prayer hall.
Christians said the attackers smashed windows of the prayer hall and later entered the pastor’s home where they destroyed “the lights and window panes in the [main] room.” The intruders also broke the refrigerator, overturning utensils in which the family meal had been prepared, before they finally left.
Pastor I. D. Prasanna , was not at home at the time of the incident. Police have not yet launched an investigation into the incident, Christians said. Officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The reported incidents were the latest in a series of attacks against devoted Christians in India, who comprise just over two percent of the country’s mainly Hindu population of over nearly 1.2 billion people.