By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
NEW DELHI (Worthy News) – A tense calm has returned to the Narayanpur district of India’s landlocked state of Chhattisgarh where more than 1,000 villagers, including suspected Hindu extremists, attacked a Catholic church injuring several people, Worthy News learned.
After allegations of “religious conversions,” the crowd entered the church building armed with wooden sticks and iron rods, damaging the building and presbytery, according to witnesses.
Several police officers, including the district superintendent, were injured when they attempted to end the January 2 riots, Christians said.
The violence reportedly followed a meeting by leaders of the local tribal community over allegations that members of the church performed religious conversions, a sensitive issue in this predominantly Hindu nation.
Sources said that appeals for “a peaceful” anti-conversion protest were ignored during the meeting. Anger among the crowd reportedly escalated until a mob of over 1,000 people was intent on committing destruction.
Charges have been laid against five individuals, including a leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Since anti-conversion legislation has been introduced in various states throughout India over the years, it has been used as a catalyst for violence and persecution, according to Christian rights activists.
Christians asked prayers for the believers in the area and others facing “discrimination because of their faith in Christ.”
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