‘They ran him over with 5 motorcycles’: New report reveals at least 40 attacks against Christians in India this year

by Tola Mbakwe

The latest annual report from the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) has detailed the extent of Christian persecution in the country. 

The EFI has found that in the first two months of 2020, there were more than 40 attacks against Christians. It also lists 366 incidents where Christians were targeted in 2019.
 
The report states: “Most incidents are physical violence, threats, harassment and the disruption of church services by religious radicals or the police. 
 
“Disruption of prayer meetings and Sunday worship is now a trend across many states. Many Christians have been falsely accused and detained on charges of forced conversion.”

Anti-Christian violence has increased by more than 12.5 per cent from 2018 to 2019, according to the report. 

Andrew Boyd from persecution watchdog Release International said the growing animosity toward Christians stems from the political party in charge. 

“It is this growing sense of ultra-nationalism, a very right wing extremist movement there and it’s actually intolerant of anything other than Hinduism within the country,” he told Premier Christian News. 

“The BJP, which is a nationalist party in power, was re-elected with an increased mandate, and that reflects the mood within the country, but it’s also given the ultra-nationalists the kind of credence that they would like to be able to continue what they’re doing.” 

“And I often say that if you’ve seen the film Slumdog Millionaire then you’ll see what happens when the Hindu ultra-nationalists attack Muslim minority in that in that film, it is the same thing that’s going on.”

The most recent violent attack was on 3rd March against a church leader.

Pastor Isaac Paulose was stopped 300 yards from his home in Madhya Pradesh. Ten men accused him of converting Indians to Christianity and threatened to kill him. 

Release International said They beat him with bamboo rods and a thick metal chain, before running him over with five motorcycles.

According to Morning Star News, the 48-year-old pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, suffered a broken rib and head and hand injuries. 

He told a fellow Christian leader he was not scared, but was glad to suffer for the name of Jesus.

Release International has called for the Indian government to repeal its anti-conversion laws and acknowledge the atrocities taking place. 

The charity is training pastors, providing medical support for Christians who are attacked and giving financial support for Christians engaged in legal battles over freedom of faith.

Prayer

Almighty God, we know that your love reaches to all corners of the earth. We ask you to stretch your hand of protection over the life of every person in India who is experiencing intimidation, harassment or threats from extremists on account of their religion or belief. 

We ask for India’s lawmakers’ hearts to be changed and for controversial laws like the anti-conversion laws and the Citizenship Amendment Act to be repealed, so that all India’s citizens can live out their beliefs in peace 

We thank you for the countless courageous human rights defenders who put themselves at risk to speak up for justice. Please protect them today, exposing those who would seek to do them harm. 

Source: Premier