04/17/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to a recent release by the United Christian Forum (UCF) in India, attacks on Christians and their places of worship continued to escalate in both number and severity in 2020. In just the month of March, 27 violent attacks were reported from 11 different states in India.
UCF, a Christian organization that advocates on behalf of Christians in India, set up a helpline in 2015 to record the number of attacks on India’s Christians. From January 1 to March 31, UCF documented 56 threats against Christians as well as 26 physical assaults. This totaled 82 documented incidents.
According to UCF’s release, these attacks were primarily perpetrated by mobs and took place in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Goa. In most incidents, mobs attacked the Christians because they objected to Christians holding worship services.
For example, on March 12, a mob attacked a pastor and his six-year-old son because they were running a house church. The pastor’s eight-year-old daughter was also forced to strip by the mob. They told the girl she would be beaten to death if she did not comply.
On March 15, a mob of 300 individuals attacked a church service in Kunda Thana, located in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. There the pastor of the church was beaten by the police and falsely charged with using the church for ‘criminal’ offenses.
India’s national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the number of attacks on Christians. However, attacks on Christians and their places of worship will likely return when the lockdown is eventually lifted. More must be done in India to secure the rights of the country’s Christian minority and bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.
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