12/04/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – On Sunday, December 2, a mob of 150 Hindu radicals broke into a private hall being used to conduct a Christian worship service in the KDA Colony of Kanpur, located in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. The mob attack on the small church marks another instance of Christian persecution currently sweeping across Uttar Pradesh as the Christmas holiday approaches.
According locals reached by International Christian Concern (ICC), Pastor A. B. Singh of the Church of God has been leading a worship service in Kanpur for the last 20 years without opposition. At about 11 a.m. on Sunday, December 2, a mob of 150 people forced themselves into the private hall being used to house the worship service and started to abuse the more than 35 Christians gathered. When Pastor Singh’s wife, Kalpana Singh, tried to protect her husband and other women in the church, she was manhandled and beaten by members of the mob.
The mob then chased all the Christians from the premises and demanded Pastor Singh to stop leading Christian worship services in Kanpur. Police were called to the private hall and Pastor Singh informed them about the incident. Although the officer in-charge of Naubasta Police Station promised a fair investigation, no action has been taken against the mob to date.
“The attacks on places of worship have picked up in the last two to three months in the Kanpur region,” Pastor Vijay Gupta, a Christian leader from Kanpur, told ICC. “What we hear in the news is the tip of the ice-berg. Pastors and evangelists are constantly being harassed and [threatened].”
Pastor Sam P. Jacob, also from Kanpur, said, “We had to completely shut down our Christmas programs and activities due to the prevalence of anti-Christian sentiments. Christians are terrified over the situation. We are not sure if we are even going to conduct a Christmas service on Christmas day.”
For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].