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01/15/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – Six Christians in India’s Tamil Nadu state were assaulted by three individuals who falsely accused the Christians of engaging in forced conversions. The assailants forcefully applied the Pattai, a Hindu religious symbol, to the foreheads of the Christians as they threatened them with physical harm.

The Christians were attacked after local Hindus from Perumselvavilai, located in the Kanyakumari District, discovered they were distributing religious pamphlets to residents. The locals accused the Christians of attempting to forcefully convert Hindus and punished them by forcefully applying the Pattai to their foreheads. The Christians were told they would be harmed if they attempted to remove the Pattai.

Video of the assault was taken by accomplices of the assailants and was widely circulated on social media.

Pastor Selvakumar, one of the Christian victims, registered a complaint with local police. According to reports, police registered a case against three assailants, including individuals identified as Srinivasan, Rajesh, and Suresh. To date no arrests have been made in connection with the assault.

False accusations of forced conversions are often lodged against Christians engaging in evangelism in India. For many Hindu radicals, Christian evangelism is equated with attempted forced conversion. These false accusations are then used to harass Christian leaders or justify assaults.

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