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ICC Note:

29 Christians were reportedly tortured and had their possessions destroyed by Hindu radicals after they refused to convert to Hinduism in the village of Katholi in India. Following the incident, many Christian families fled the village. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have increased in recent years in India. In 2016, ICC has documented as many as 115 attacks on Christians across the country. Recently, the U.S. Congress held a hearing regarding the deterioration of human rights in India including the deterioration of religious freedom. 

6/8/2016 India (Christian Post) – Hindu extremists have beaten and tortured 29 Christians who refused to deny their faith in Christ in the village of Katholi in India, reports say.

The Express reported on Tuesday that the radicals also destroyed several Christian homes, and forced dozens of believers to flee the village.

The Hindu extremists apparently set up rituals aimed at converting the Christians into Hindus, and held a public meeting where they gathered believers. After the Christians, which included men, women, and children, refused to convert, however, they were beaten and tortured.

Persecution watchdog group Open Doors said:

“The villagers accused them saying – because of you our god and goddess are fleeing from our village. When they refused to forsake Christ they began to beat them.”

The group added: “Beating them they drove them towards their houses and threw out their belonging.”

Christians have been growing in terms of numbers in India, which has prompted numerous attacks by concerned Hindu radicals in various towns and villages across the country.

In May, a mob of nearly 500 extremists attacked a Protestant church in Jabat, in Madhya Pradesh, with radicals throwing stones at Christians for allegedly damaging a nationalist flag outside the church.

“RSS activists [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Hindu ultra-nationalist paramilitary group ed], the BJP and Bajrang Dal [youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, VHP] led by former district chief, threw stones at members of the community, attacked our women and broke the church lamps,” pastor Emmanuel Ariel said.

He added that “all this happened before the eyes of the police officers, who stood by as silent spectators.”

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