16 Christian leaders accused of breaching the peace after Hindu attack on church and pastor
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Sixteen Christian leaders in India’s Karnataka state were themselves falsely accused of disturbing the peace after they attended a magistrate’s office on November 13 to support a fellow pastor whose church was attacked by Hindu radicals and who was then charged with disturbing the peace for holding worship services, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Persecution against Christians in India has intensified since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.
The group of pastors were accused in connection with a November 7 violent attack on a congregation led by Pastor Chandrakanth, ICC reports. A mob of around 40 radical Hindu nationalists stormed into the congregation’s worship hall, and aimed for the pastor. “The congregation stood before me as a human fence,” Pastor Chandrakanth told ICC. “Otherwise, they would have killed me. The radicals want to wipe out Christianity from this area and they think it is easy under the BJP government, presently ruling the state.”
Although the police arrived at the scene, it was Pastor Chandrakanth who was charged with disturbing the peace, ICC reports. Pastor Chandrakanth was ordered to appear before a local magistrate on November 13.
The 16 pastors attended the magistrate’s office on the day of the hearing, to speak on behalf of their colleague, ICC said. And then they, too, were accused of breaching the peace.
“In recent weeks, attacks on Christians and their places of worship in Karnataka have dramatically increased,” ICC said in its report. “This increase in persecution comes as the BJP-led government of Karnataka publicly lobbies for the enactment of an anti-conversion law using false anti-Christian narratives.”
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