THREE Christians including a heavily pregnant woman were severely injured in a “heinous and brutal attack” by a mob of right-wing Hindu activists as they prayed in a hotel in India.

Christian persecution in India

A group of Christians were attacked by a hard-line Hindu mob in northern India (Image: GETTY IMAGES/INDIA EXPRESS)

Around 30 members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) group set upon some 150 pastors and other Christian leaders armed with hockey sticks, baseball bats and pistols, according to International Christian Concern (ICC). The Christian group, which was meeting for a day of prayer, looked on in horror as the thugs burst into the hotel hall and began their attack. As the VHP activists started beating the event organiser, they shoved his pregnant wife to the ground before smashing up musical equipment belonging to the group.

The violent attack is the latest incident of religious persecution in India. 

Pastor Ranjith Singh told ICC: “I was terrified looking at this aggressive group of people, before even I could realise, they started beating everyone as they entered the into the hall, the attackers did not spare anyone including women and elderly people.

“These days we hear news of pastors being beaten and churches being closed down almost on a weekly basis.

“But this is the first time in Agra to have such heinous and brutal attack on the Christian community at a private place while having a prayer meeting.”

The attack on October 30 took place in the city of Agra, best known as the home of the Taj Mahal.

Agra Christian attack

An image reportedly taken by one of the pastors shows the attack in Agra (Image: INDIAN EXPRESS)

Pastor Sam, the event organiser and one of the Christians seriously injured, said, “It was clear that I was their prime target as group of Hindu radicals surrounded me hitting me.

“My wife, who is nine months pregnant, tried to rescue me but the mob pushed her to the ground.”

The VHP, which translates to World Hindu Council, is a nationalist group which is classified as a “militant religious organisation” by the CIA – a label the VHP vehemently disputes. 

Members who took part in the attack justified it by claiming the Christians were trying to force Hindus into converting to their faith, according to the ICC.

Police said they are looking into claims of religious conversions at the hotel in Agra, the Indian Express reports.

But investigations into the men accused of perpetrating the attack have not begun because the suspects have reportedly “absconded”.

VHP India

The VHP is classed as a militant religious organisation by the CIA (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The group says last month’s attack in Agra is just one of 49 incidents of persecution to have taken place in the surrounding state of Uttar Pradesh over the last two months.

Christians in India suffer from “extreme” persecution, according to Open Doors USA.

The organisation singles out the VHP as one of three main radical Hindu groups responsible for much of the oppression. 

Hindu radicals aim to remove both Christianity and Islam from India and use violence to achieve their goal, Open Doors says.

Converts to Christianity are reportedly most at risk of attack and “are constantly under pressure to return to Hinduism”.

Indian Christians

There are upwards of 28 million Christians in India (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

On September 8, a mob of 50 Hindu radicals stormed into a private spiritual retreat attended by 25 Christians, the ICC reports.

After hurling abuse, the thugs began attacking the three pastors leading the event.

Following the incident, one the organisers said local media reports had made the Christian group out to be in the wrong and accused them of trying to forcibly convert Hindus.

The organiser added the police had also sided with the attackers.

Date published: 18/11/2018
Written by: Harvey Gavin
Article source:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here