Church in Central India Stoned by Mob of 500
The Christian community was once again attacked by Hindu radicals when a mob of 500 attacked and stoned a Protestant church in India’s Madhya Pradesh state. According to reports, the mob attacked the church after saffron flags placed outside of the church were damaged. Immediately, local radicals blamed Christians for the damage to the flags and attacked the church, damaging windows, lamps, and members of the Christian community. This is only the latest attack on Christians in India. The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) warned that religious freedom in India is on a negative trajectory and that if things didn’t improve, USCIRF would recommend India to be labeled a Country of Particular Concern.
5/5/2016 India (Asia News) – A mob of 500 Hindu right-wing activists have attacked a Protestant church damaging the entrance and throwing stones at the faithful. The incident happened in the early hours of this morning, May 5th, in Jabat, in Madhya Pradesh. Hindu extremists reacted to alleged damage to saffron-colored flags (the symbolic color of nationalists) placed outside the church for the Ram Navmi festival (which marks the birth of Rama).
The president of the local branch of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reported to police on charges of rioting, damaging a place of worship, corruption and violence against women.
Meena Chauhan, Superintendent of Alirajpur District Police, said, “The problems started at nine o’clock last night when some people came to us with a complaint against Nirmal Raymind Nigam and his brother [who are] accused of damaging the saffron flags placed near the church on the occasion of the festival.” The police immediately registered the complaint and sent a patrol to arrest the two.
Meanwhile, Pastor Emmanuel Ariel said, “RSS activists, BJP members, and Bajrang Dal youth, led by the former District Chief, threw stones at members of the [Christian] community, attacked our women and broke the church lamps.”
The most shocking thing, the pastor added, “Is that all this happened before the eyes of the police officers, who stood by as silent spectators.”