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07/25/2023 India (International Christian Concern) – In a brutal attack against Christians in a central Indian state, seven people—including three women—sustained life-threatening injuries earlier this month. The atrocious incident took place in the village of Bhaganpal in the Baster district of Chhattisgarh state. All seven victims were rushed to the public hospital in Jagdalpur.

“Christians in Bhaganpal village have been harassed since March this year,” a local pastor said when speaking to an ICC correspondent. The pastor added that, “The Christians were summoned at the village gathering twice in the last two months, to persuade them to reconvert back to their previous religion. Things are becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to practice their faith.”

As 60 Christians gathered for a Sunday service, a mob of around 15 radical Hindu nationalists burst into the congregation and began to beat the worshippers, another source said. The mob attacked the congregants with sharp stones and heavy bludgeons, leaving seven people seriously injured, including one whose hand was fractured, one who needed stitches, and another who was unconscious for four hours.

The victims are frightened and taking shelter in a different village at a Christian house, cared for by fellow believers. “Their lives are under danger if they go back to their village Bhaganpal,” the pastor said, adding that “neither the police nor the administration would be helpful to them in this kind of situation.”

The police registered a First Information Report against the attackers under IPC sections 147, 294, 323, and 506; however, no further actions have been reported. At least six incidents of religious persecution have occurred against Christians in the last month, as the trend worries the Christians living in Chhattisgarh.

Please pray that the authorities will respond appropriately to bring the perpetrators to justice.