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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_custom_heading text=”By ICC’s India Correspondent” font_container=”tag:h6|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1545162591543{margin-bottom: 22px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”99699″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]12/18/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In a matter of only five days, Christians in India’s southern state of Telangana endured three separate attacks. These attacks have some fearing that the upcoming Christmas holiday will be a particularly difficult one for the state’s Christian community.

On December 11, Pastor John from Hebron Church was doing street evangelism with six other Christians in Kistmatpur. Suddenly, a group of 15 suspected Hindu radicals surround the group’s vehicle, used abusive language, and began beating the Christians. The radicals then pulled several boxes of New Testaments and other Christian literature from the vehicle and set the boxes on fire.

The Christians refused to report the incident due to fear. When International Christian Concern (ICC) reached out to Pastor John, he refused to talk about the incident, saying that it will only bring more trouble.

On December 14, members of an independent church in Kistmatpur were attacked by Hindu radicals. The attack took place as the group was hanging a poster to inform the village about a Christmas event to take place the following day. Four Christians were injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”“These attacks have some fearing that the upcoming Christmas holiday will be a particularly difficult one for the state’s Christian community.”” font_container=”tag:h5|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1545162718161{margin-top: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 60px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1545162685372{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Following the attack, the independent church shifted the Christmas event to a different location, fearing an additional attack. The event was safely held on December 15, but the church did not raise any publicity about it due to security concerns.

On December 15, Pastor Bhasker’s car was severely damaged by unknown individuals in Kompally village. “I have given complaint in the police station along with the CCTV footage,” Pastor Bhasker told ICC. “My car parked in front of my house was damaged. They broke the glasses and damaged the body. I suspect it is the work of Hindu radicals, as in the past I was attacked for doing Christian work in the village.

Pastor Bhasker’s ministry organizes large evangelism meetings and is well known locally. This has made him a target for Hindu radicals in the past.

Now that the election results are in and there is no give or take situation in terms of religious polarization, the attacks have started to escalate,” Rev. Ronald John, a local Christian leader, told ICC in reaction to the attacks. “Given the year-long, anti-Christian hate campaign, we expect a rough season this year. The newly elected government should take notice of this increased persecution against Christians and provide protection.

As the Christmas holiday approaches, please keep India’s Christians in your prayers.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]