India: Attack on Revival Meeting Sends Christians Underground
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Feb 27
As police looked on, militants attacked a Christian church in central India earlier this month, causing severe injuries to some and sending the pastor into hiding, World Watch Monitor reports. The assault took place during the second day of a Feb. 7-9 revival meeting at India Christian Assembly of God Church in the city of Rajnandgaon, in the overwhelmingly Hindu state of Chhattisgarh. The revival meeting included a graduation ceremony of 14 students who attended a short Bible-training program, and around 300 Christians had gathered for the event. Around 3 p.m. on the second day, a group of more than 30 young men from several Hindu nationalist groups disrupted the meeting and started to interrogate the pastor and other church leaders. "They started to manhandle and beat people, tear Bibles, abused the God of Christians and strode over children," witnesses said. More attackers joined in, beating men, women and children with sticks and iron rods and damaging church property and vehicles. "There was chaos and Christians started to flee for their lives in whichever direction they could," witnesses said. Police were summoned, but they did not intervene and "played the role of mere spectators." Attacks continued until 6 p.m., and some Christians were admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment. Christian leaders approached the police superintendent, who came to the scene and began an investigation. He was stymied, however, because pastor Thomas Abraham had disappeared. Police are watching the church building and are still searching for Abraham.