Harrowingly, this attack is hardly an isolated incident in Chhattisgarh. Our source shared with us that these attacks started in October and have been intensifying ever since. Recently, weeks of coordinated attacks have left nearly 2,000 believers homeless and afraid. When Christians have refused to recant their faith, mobs have sprung up and destroyed houses and churches. So far, there have been 20-25 churches burned down in the region, along with 40-45 Christian homes.
In a small village in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, a radical Hindu mob attacked a large church gathering. The mob stormed the gathering, mercilessly beating tribal Christians, including women, children and the elderly. They burned property, scattered the Christians and warned they should never return.
Our source had this to say about the footage: “Very disturbing—early in the morning got this video from our pastors. Persecution in India is at all-time high and unacceptable. Government authorities [turn] blind eye and encourage it to make India into a Hindu supremacist radical nation reaching a Hindu form of ISIS. We need to do something before it becomes one.”
In another incident, according to a report from Christianity Today, a mob of 500 assembled in a small village in Chhattisgarh. They demanded the village’s Christians meet them, then the Christians who appeared were attacked with “sticks, legs, fists, bricks, and stones” until they fell unconscious. Other Christians in the village heard of the attacks and rushed to help, but when they encountered the mob, they had no choice but to flee. The mob chased them down, and those older and weaker were overtaken and beaten. Even those who were able to make it to the hospital to have their wounds treated were identified and told if they were to return to their village, the mob would attack them again.
Our source on the ground tells us these recent attacks seem to stem from an ultimatum given by the village leaders, called the Punjab. Their ultimatum was simply this: deny Jesus or leave the tribal community. The deadline the Punjab set was the beginning of 2023. The Christians who have remained have been suffering the consequences ever since.
Thankfully, even through these violent string of attacks, no deaths have been reported.
Being a Christian in Chhattisgarh is not only dangerous, but it can seem hopeless. Chhattisgarh has implemented their own anti-conversion law, a law originally put in place to “preserve Hindu religious identity.” States which have adopted these laws are more radical, meaning converting to Christianity comes with great risk and fear of imprisonment, fines and worse.
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Let’s fall on our knees and pray on behalf of our Indian brothers and sisters who are in such great need.
Let’s pray the thousands of Christians who are currently displaced will be able to find food and shelter. Pray they will eventually be able to return to work and provide for their families—without incident. Pray they will find the courage necessary to return home to rebuild their houses and churches. And pray boldly that God will work in the hearts of those who are persecuting, that they will see the error in their ways, that He will completely transform them from the inside-out and that they will find love and hope in Him.
Lord, please hear our prayers for our persecuted family. We are one family in You, and when a part of us aches, we all ache.