11/05/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – Christians living in India’s northeastern state of Assam are concerned by a series of attacks on their community over the past month. Starting on September 29, Christians in Assam recorded three attacks on their community which normally experiences little to no persecution.
On September 29, unknown assailants attacked and desecrated a statue of Don Bosco, a 19th century Italian priest and educator, in Tezpur, Sonitpur District.
Then, on October 2, a group of Christians were assaulted by a mob of Hindu radicals in Dhaligaon village, located in the Bongaigaon District. The Christians were attacked days after they had refused to convert to Hinduism or leave the village. Three of the assailants have been arrested, but the leader of the mob remains staunchly devoted to his “one village, one faith” demand.
Finally, on October 15, another mob of Hindu radicals, this time led by a priest from the Dakhinpat Satra temple, attacked the Believers Eastern Church in Raidangoni village, located in the Majuli District. The mob, accompanied by members of the media, attacked the church, desecrated a cross and destroyed the church’s signboard. According to the local Christians, the mob demanded the Christians leave the village or convert to Hinduism.
Across India attacks by Hindu radicals continues to escalate both in number and intensity. Much of this increase in violence can be attributed to the rule of the current BJP-led government. Founded on a platform of Hindu nationalism, BJP leaders often use religiously divisive rhetoric for political gain. This inflammatory rhetoric is often acted upon by local Hindu radicals who feel they are following the orders of BJP politicians.
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