by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A mob of around 100 Hindu nationalists invaded a church in India’s Chhattisgarh state on Sunday, August 29, beating up congregants, destroying property, and setting up and worshipping Hindu idols in the sanctuary, Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) reports. Christian leaders in Chhattisgarh have denounced the continuing inaction of authorities to deal with the ongoing harassment and attacks against believers in the state by Hindu nationalists.
During the course of the August 29 invasion on the church in the village of Polmi, the attackers shouted Hindu slogans, and claimed that anyone who is born in India must worship Hindu gods and always remain a Hindu, VOM said. The attackers particularly targeted the church’s leader, Pastor Kawalsingh Paraste and his family during the raid. Arun Pannalal, the president of Chhattisgarh’s Christian Forum said in a statement that at least ten similar attacks had occurred within two weeks of the Polmi raid, but the authorities had done nothing.
The church congregation has been meeting in Polmi and has lived in peace with villagers for nearly 20 years. Witnesses to the attack reported that the mob came from the neighboring village of Bhejgar, VOM reports.
Issuing a call for prayer into the situation in Polmi, VOM said in its report: “Intercede for the salvation of those responsible for the recent anti-Christian attacks in Chhattisgarh. May their hearts be touched by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, leading them to repentance for their wrongful actions. Pray that this recovering church community will convey the love of Christ to those around them in all circumstances.”
Hindu extremists have become emboldened in their persecution of Christians since India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.
India now ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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