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By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Forty Christians were severely beaten by Hindu nationals in India's Telangana state last month after holding a prayer meeting in a private home.
According to International Christian Concern, several Christians were injured in the attack, including a pregnant woman who later lost her unborn child.
The Christians had peacefully met in a house in the village of Balanagar, but later that evening a mob of 60 Hindus arrived shouting anti-Christian slogans; they soon began beating those inside the house, not sparing any of the women and children.
"This is a cruel act carried out in the name of Hindu nationalism," Pastor David, leader of the Independent Church in Balanagar, told ICC. "Fringe Hindu radicals portray Christians as anti-nationals, so innocent Christians are punished for no wrong doing."
Although local authorities arrested seven suspects connected to the assault, all of them were released on bail that very evening.
"This attack on Christians in Balanagar is just one more sign of growing religious intolerance in India," said William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager for South Asia. "Hindu radicals -- who continue to go unchecked by the government -- are dividing India along religious lines and labeling religious minorities, including Christians, as inferior and anti-India. This sentiment has led to an increased number of religious freedom violations being committed against Christians ... India's government must do more to secure the religious freedom rights of all of its citizens, including Christians, and to punish those who actively violate these rights. Unless this is done soon, India risks losing its reputation as a pluralistic and tolerant democracy. "