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Christian children threatened and abused in series of attacks in India

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

Christian children were chased by knife-wielding Muslims who threatened to kill them, and a pastor had chilli powder thrown in his eyes by Hindu extremists who gagged and bound his son.

These are just two of a number of violent anti-Christian incidents that took place in India over the last three weeks.

India_child_praying_4X3.jpg
Christian children in India
are vulnerable to persecution

Around 100 radical Muslims forced their way into a prayer meeting at a Christian couple’s home in Nutangram village, West Bengal state on 30 March. They beat up a number of the Christian men and women, and chased them all, along with their children, carrying a knife. The Muslims threatened to kill the Christians, and as the latter ran for their lives, the children were crying in fear; their attempts to escape were blocked by the Muslims, who physically and verbally assaulted them. A crowd of around 500 Muslims watched in amusement as the Christians were tormented in this manner for around an hour and a half.

On Easter Sunday, the Rev. Ratnababu and his family were attacked in their home in Andhra Pradesh by Hindu extremists. Some gagged and bound his son, Madhu, while others threw chilli powder in the pastor’s eyes before assaulting him and his wife. Rev. Ratnababu has previously been subjected to persecution, including numerous death threats and three attempts to torch his church. Despite his being the victim, Hindu extremists have prompted the police to arrest him twice.

In another recent incident, school children were used by Hindu extremists to trace families who had been attending church services in Akkarapettai, Tamil Nadu. The radicals were angered by a noticeable drop in the numbers of people attending a Hindu festival, and found out that they had been going to church instead. 

On 2 April, the Hindus went to a government school and announced a reward for children who had Christian literature in their homes. They then harassed the children who said that they did, and summoned their parents, threatening to expel them from the village if they continued going to church. The next day, they searched houses for Bibles and Christian literature, tearing up the texts that they found. The offenders told one family who boldly said that they were worshipping Christ to vacate their house, and locked twelve Christian families out of their homes for three days.

The Indian police are often complicit in acts of anti-Christian persecution by others, and sometimes they harass Christians directly themselves.

This happened to the Rev. Rajesh on Easter Sunday. He had just finished conducting a prayer service at his home in Chamrajnagar, Karnataka, when the police turned up. They asked him under what authority he had conducted a service at his home before insulting him and ordering him to vacate the property.

Later that day, the pastor along with five other church leaders and a parishioner, Babu, went to the local police station to file a complaint. As they were speaking to a police officer, around 100 Hindu extremists burst into the police station and attacked the Christians. Babu received head injuries that required 24 stitches. The police failed to intervene while the assault took place.

Elsewhere, in Maharanjganj, Uttar Pradesh, Hindu extremists armed with iron rods raided a Christian meeting on 7 April. They accused the leaders of carrying out forced conversions and started to beat them up. They also attacked a recent convert who had given the church land worth 1.2 million rupees (£14,700; US$23,200). Pastor Ram Chander Vish Prasad and his wife were injured, along with some other believers. Four people were arrested but released without charge on the same day.

Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said that the country’s Christian minority was living in a “climate of terror”. 

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • 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 19 hours ago

  • “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

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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