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07/25/2023 India (International Christian Concern) – A mob of radical Hindu nationalists (Hindutva) violently attacked a Christian pastor and his family recently in Rae Barely district in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

The mob attacked the family for allegedly converting villagers to Christianity. The pastor’s wife sustained a blow and cut to her head that left her unconscious; she was rushed to the hospital  along with others who suffered serious internal injuries. 

A local source said the pastor and his family were getting ready to begin Sunday morning worship when a mob of around 30 radical Hindu nationalists burst into the house church carrying knives and bamboo sticks. The pastor’s wife was injured when she attempted to shield her husband from the assailants, sustaining the head injury. The congregants fled the mob after witnessing the gruesome attack. 

Sources also said that the mob vandalized the house church, damaging the furniture and other items. When the pastor called the police for help, officers arrived at the scene to only make things difficult for the pastor and his family, taking them to the police station, where the attackers accused the pastor and his wife of conducting illegal conversions. The police registered the allegation and kept the pastor and his wife at the station for more than 24 hours, finally releasing them on bail. 

The pastor has been serving in his village for more than six years, after receiving Jesus as his savior. He was threatened on several occasions to stop worship in his household, and this attack was the culmination of those threats from the radical Hindu nationalists. 

The incidents of religious persecution in Uttar Pradesh have increased ever since the pro-Hindu BJP came to power in the state of Uttar Pradesh in a second consecutive term. The state government is one of 11 to enact anti-conversion laws in the country. The pastor thus requests prayer for the situation to improve.  

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