by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Over 200 Hindu extremists, including middle-aged women, attacked a church in northern India on October 3, beating up worshippers, causing severe injuries, and looting church and personal property, Morning Star News (MSN).
This incident was yet another in an ongoing wave of persecution against Christians in India that has intensified since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.
The mob of extremists stormed into the House of Prayer church in Roorkee, Uttarakhand state, where 10-12 believers were gathered for a worship service that was about to begin, MSN reports. The attackers included men and women aged 40-65 years old; there was even a lady school principal, a witness said. “The moment they entered, they started to break the stuff inside the church and began to beat the congregation members,” 65-year-old worship leaderPrio Sadhana Portor told MSN. They shouted Hindu slogans and accused the believers of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity.
In its report Morning Star News said each one of the congregants sustained injuries, some of which were very serious. One man suffered an internal injury when his head was smashed into an electric circuit board in the worship hall. Another man was dragged outside onto the road, and beaten unconscious with iron bars; he lost part of an ear in the assault. Yet another man suffered a ruptured eardrum. Moreover, MSN said: “The Hindu nationalists stole cash, debit cards, credit cards, cell phones, and purses, besides breaking CCTV cameras, the sound system and other equipment, and chairs.”
Although a formal complaint was made and a police file was opened, no arrests had been made as of the MSN report on October 18. Investigating Officer Vivek Kumar told MSN: “The investigations are still on, but no arrests have been made. The people named in the FIR are all absconding.”
India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted: in 2013, a year before the Bharatiya Janata Hindu nationalist party came to power, India ranked 31 on the list.
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