Date:  January 27, 2020

Christians gathered for a church prayer meeting fled in terror after a mob of Hindu nationalist extremists pelted a church in West Bengal with objects.

A group of eight men attacked with shouts of “Jai Shri Ram” (Glory to Lord Rama) in Bhagwanpur, East Midnapore district at 2 p.m. on 27 December. As worshippers ran away, the men stormed inside, smashing furniture, window panes and church microphones. As they left the building, the men vandalised the pastor’s car parked outside.

After a Hindu extremist mob vandalised a church building in West Bengal they smashed the pastor's car

Pastor Alok Ghosh filed a police complaint naming eight perpetrators, who he claimed were employees of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu nationalist party, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Three men have since been arrested.

Vijayesh Lal, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India, recently highlighted the rising hostility towards pastors and Christian institutions in many parts of the country that has resulted in “loss of life, livelihood and property”. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in early December, he said more than 250 incidents of violence and “hate crimes” had taken place against Christians in 2019, including about ten incidents during Easter week.