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02/11/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – On Sunday, February 9, members of a radical Hindu nationalist group attacked a small house church located in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh. As a result of the attack, the house church’s pastor and family were taken into police custody and questioned until 1:30 in the morning on February 10.

The incident took place in the city of Kanpur, located in Uttar Pradesh. According to Pastor Sanjay Raj Singh, a group of 15 members of the Bajrang Dal broke into his private house as the Sunday worship service was ongoing. The Bajrang Dal activists were carrying Hindu idols in their jackets and went on to drop the idols in Pastor Singh’s home, where they broke on the ground.

They started to film the broken idols that they dropped as evidence that I had destroyed the idols,” Pastor Singh told International Christian Concern (ICC). “The angry mob came prepared to accuse me of destroying the Hindu idols. That is the reason they brought these idols and dropped them where the worship was going on.

They forcibly snatched the car keys and did not allow us to leave the house for several hours,” Pastor Singh continued. “When the police came, they also claimed that I used the car for conversion activities.

While being held by the radicals, Pastor Singh claims that he and members of his congregation were manhandled. In addition to this physical abuse, the radicals hurled abusive language at the Christians.

As a result of the false allegations, police arrested Pastor Singh and his family. Police also confiscated Pastor Singh’s car, several Bibles, and bags belonging to Pastor Singh. The Christian family was then held in police custody and interrogated until 1:30 a.m. on February 10.

Attacks on house churches have increased in recent years in Uttar Pradesh,” Pastor Singh explained to ICC. “Most of the officers in the government favor the attackers because of the pro-Hindu BJP Government being in control of the state. Due to this reason, there has been an increase in attacks against Christians and in most cases the Christians silently suffer with no one coming to their aid.

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