Date: July 22, 2019
India (International Christian Concern)- Last Sunday, on 14 July 2019, Christians were seriously injured in an attack in Belchori Village in the North Indian State of Jharkhand by Hindu radicals on 14th July 2019. The incident took place when eight Christian families from Friends Missionary Prayer Band refused to recant their Christian Faith when threatened. At the expense of their faith, five of them were seriously injured.
According to reports from International Christian Concern’s correspondent in India, a mob of more than 100 Hindu radicals along with several villagers attacked the Christians during their worship service on Sunday. The mob beat up the Christians mercilessly angry at their existence in the village.
Pastor Massih (whose name was changed for security reasons), the pastor of the fellowship, while speaking to ICC, said, “the Hindu radicals kicked Christians like footballs, and there were none to rescue the Christians from the hands of Hindu radicals.”
Later when the Christians gave a formal complaint, requesting to file a Fist Information Report (FIR), the police refused to file it for them. They were instead told that the police will go to the village the next morning to investigate the matter.
The next day, after their investigation, police officials confirmed the attacks on the Christians but did not reprimand the villagers. Instead, they highlighted that the main reason for the attacks was the number of people converting to Christianity in the community. According to Pastor Masih, the police forced the Christians to come to a compromise with the villagers by accepting that they will no longer convert people to Christianity within the village and in neighboring villages. In fact, the Christians were threatened to sign a document agreeing to abide by it.
Christians, in Jharkhand have been facing heightened scrutiny by Hindu radicals since the re-election of the Hindu-Nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata Party.
Pastor Masih, after recounting the police’s reaction, said, “just in our block, ‘Jaganathpur’ in west Singbum district there were 16 anti-Christian incidents. Seven of our fellowships (house churches) that I lead were attacked in the last one year. Things are increasingly becoming hostile for Christians in west Singbum district, and all over Jharkhand ever since Freedom of Religion Act came into being in Jharkhand.”
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for healing for those who were injured in this attack. Pray for the attackers to be held responsible for their actions. Pray for these believers to remain strong in their faith despite opposition.