A disturbing new video purportedly shows a violent attack on a Catholic church in India, with an extremist mob using rocks, iron rods, and wooden sticks during the assault.
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The clip, shared by Global Christian Relief, reportedly shows the Jan. 2 attack on Sacred Heart Church in Edka, a village in Narayanpur, India.
There were purportedly 1,000 extremists who went after the church.
“Reportedly, the mob was protesting ‘illegal’ conversions and construction of churches,” Global Christian Relief stated in an explainer.
One witness said the situation is dire, with Christians being “targeted and attacked.” Of the latest incident — purportedly part of ongoing tensions between indigenous animist followers and Christians — this source said the mob’s assault destroyed the house of worship.
“They are going to attack our other institutions,” the individual warned.
Father Jomon Devasia, parish priest of Sacred Heart Church, confirmed to UCA News the damage to the church was profound.
“A tense situation prevails here,” Devasia said. “The mob destroyed everything, the church and the presbytery.”
Watch footage from the attack:
Some police officers, who reportedly attempted to stop the violence, were injured, according to UCA News.
The church assault is the latest horror to strike Narayanpur, where many Christians have also been driven out of their homes by extremists.
David Curry, CEO of Global Christian Relief, warned in a statement about the need to address the increasing persecution in central India.
Curry is asking the U.S. State Department to address the issue with Indian officials.
“If strong action isn’t taken quickly, there is a very real risk these attacks will spiral into even more widespread violence against Chhattisgarh’s Christian community and elsewhere,” he said. “Local police need to consult with local Christian leaders and respond to any requests for help before further damage can be done.”
Archbishop Victor Henry Thakur of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Raipur said the attack didn’t have anything to do with Hindu opposition to Christian conversions, stating the issue is a “law and order problem.”
“The attacks have nothing to do with religious conversions as has been made out. It is a clear case of law and order problem,” he told UCA News. “The state police did not initiate action against groups that unleashed violence against Christians earlier. Now, they are fearlessly attacking us.”
Christianity Today also reported on a Jan. 1 attack on Christians in the village of Gorra. The assault by Hindu extremists purportedly left believers injured.
“They beat my father and three others with sticks, legs, fists, bricks, and stones until they all fell unconscious,” Aytu Ram Dhruw, a local Christian, said of the assault.
The 2022 World Watch List ranked India as the 10th worst place in the world for Christian persecution. The nation of nearly 1.4 billion people has 68.9 million Christians, who account for 5% of the overall populace.
Tragically, those believers face massive challenges.
“The persecution of Christians in India is intensifying as Hindu extremists aim to cleanse the country of their presence and influence,” Open Doors USA noted. “The driving force behind this is Hindutva, an ideology that disregards Indian Christians and other religious minorities as true Indians because they have allegiances that lie outside India. It asserts that the country should be purified of their presence.”
Continue to pray for Christians under assault in India.
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