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Hindu extremists storm church in India, beat Christians with iron rods

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

Over 30 Christians were hospitalised following an attack by Hindu extremists, who beat a group of worshippers with iron rods. It was the first of three anti-Christian incidents in India over three days. 

Christians in India are vulnerable to attack by Hindu extremists
Christians in India are vulnerable to attack by Hindu extremists

Around 100 members of three Hindu nationalist groups, Bajrang Dal, Rashtritya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) stormed on 8 February a church building in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, where a three-day prayer event was being held.

The attackers accused the Christians of forcibly converting Hindus and beat them with iron rods. More than 30 Christians required hospital treatment for serious injuries.

Police have refused to lodge a complaint against the assailants and instead filed a counterclaim against the church.

The following day, two church leaders were assaulted by a group of Hindu extremists in Nagpur, Madhya Pradesh, during a prayer meeting. They were taken to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.

Police again refused to record a case against the attackers, saying that the church building where the gathering was taking place was not a registered place of worship.

The third incident took place in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday 10 February. Hindu nationalists complained to the police about Anand Rao, who had come to deliver a lecture on the Bible. They accused him of forcibly converting Hindus, and, without checking the veracity of the allegation, police took Anand into custody. He was released on bail the next day.    

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 22 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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