Eight Attacks on Christians in India

Real Peace Gospel church in Vayalur village after the arson attack.

“As India gradually emerges from its national lockdown, International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented a sudden spike in attacks on Christians across the country. Since the lockdown has lifted, ICC has recorded at least eight incidents of persecution in just two weeks. These incidents include physical assaults, damage to Christian properties, and threats issued by radical Hindu nationalists. ‘They kicked me like they would kick a football,’ Pastor Suresh Rao, a victim of this new wave of persecution, told ICC. ‘They dragged me into the street and pushed me to the ground. There, they started to trample on me. They tore my clothes, kicked me all over my body, and punched my left eye. I have sustained a serious eye injury as a result of a blood clot.’ During the attack, members of the mob claimed Pastor Rao was involved in illegal religious conversions, converting Hindus to Christianity. ‘They said that India is a Hindu nation, and there is no place for Christians,’ Rao explained. ‘I am prepared for this kind of eventuality,’ Pastor Rao, who has faced multiple encounters with radicals, told ICC. ‘I know the cost of serving Jesus in these remote villages, and I will continue to serve the people of this region.’ On June 11, an independent church in India’s Tamil Nadu state was burned to the ground by unknown individuals, leaving over 100 Christians with no place to worship. ‘I was so distressed and pained in my heart,’ Pastor Ramesh, head pastor of Real Peace Church, told ICC. ‘It was hard labor for 10 years to build the church. All the hard work and sacrificial donations from the poor congregants were brought down to the ground. All that is left is ash. In the last ten years, I have been told numerous times by radicals to close the church,’ Pastor Ramesh said. ‘By God’s grace, I was able to endure all these hardships and abuses, but this time it is total devastation.’”

“Incidents of Christian Persecution Spike,” International Christian Concern, June 26, 2020