Hindu radicals storm prayer meeting in India and beat Christians

A mob of around 60 Hindu radicals stormed a Christian prayer meeting in India, beating the believers who had met together. A pregnant Christian woman was among those beaten, and lost her baby as a result of the attack.

Around 40 Christians had met together to pray in the home of another Christian in the Mahabubnagar District of India’s Telangana state on 12 October, according to International Christian Concern. At around 7.30 pm, a mob of Hindu radicals, led by the previous village surpanch (council president), broke into the house shouting insults at the Christians.

They beat the Christians harshly, including the women and the children. One of the believers in the group, 25-year-old Swapna, was four months pregnant at the time and begged the attackers to leave her alone because of her pregnant condition. They beat her anyway and she was later discovered to have lost her baby.

The authorities arrested seven people in connection with the attack after the believers registered the incident with local police. However, they were released on bail later the same day.

A similar incident of violence against Christians meeting together to pray in the private home of a believer took place recently about 35 km (22 miles) outside Delhi. The Christians were beaten and dragged to a police station where they were told, “This is a Hindu nation. Your kind of prayers are not allowed,” according to a report published by Christian Today on 13 November.

Christians in India are frequently the victims of violent attacks, and these have increased dramatically since Hindu-nationalist President Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014. Prayer meetings are often raided and Christians beaten; many rural Christians have been expelled from their villages and refused access to the village well and pastureland; and others have been forced to convert to Hinduism, often with violence.

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