Attacks on Christians in India intensified throughout the recent Easter season. Two Gospel for Asia missionaries and several members of a GFA-affiliated church in Madhya Pradesh were targeted in one of the recently reported attacks.
Missionaries Chandan Chhinchhadi and Dinesh Toppo were attacked in their home around 2 p.m. on Easter Sunday. The two men had conducted Easter services at a GFA-affiliated church earlier in the day and were resting at their home when five anti-Christian extremists stormed in and began harassing them. The attackers beat the pastors for more than an hour while accusing them of forcing people to convert to Christianity and various other crimes.
The attackers even dragged our pastors to the market at the center of the village in an attempt to humiliate them.
The next day, the pastors tried to report the incident to the local authorities, but the extremists prevented them from entering the police station. The extremists even filed a false report against the pastors. That same day, the police came to Chandan and Dinesh and said that for their own safety they should come to the police station. They also brought along three believers from the church. However, once they reached the police station, all of them were arrested and they were put in jail.
“The extremists are also inciting the villagers, telling them to kill the believers and to burn down their homes.”
The next day, the GFA leaders once again attempted to file a police report about the beatings, but the police refused to accept the report.
Complicating matters for the five who were arrested is the fact that one of them, a woman who is a government employee, is being singled out for threats—the extremists are trying to have her fired from her job.
The extremists are also inciting the villagers, telling them to kill the believers and to burn down their homes.
This incident comes just one week after children in a Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center in Manipur, India, were caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between opposing insurgent groups.
This is not the first time Christians in India have faced persecution during the Easter season. On Easter Sunday 2006, anti-Christian extremists stormed into a GFA-affiliated church in Karnataka, India, and attacked the GFA missionary who serves there. The extremists also attacked about 35 believers in the church, including the women and children. They even ransacked the church, the pastor’s home and his vehicle.
Several other Easter-related attacks were reported this year in India, including:
- Anti-Christian extremists attacked Christians who were praying at another church in Madhya Pradesh on Palm Sunday.
- In another area of Madhya Pradesh, extremists attacked a group comprised mostly of children during a Palm Sunday procession. Two people in that group suffered serious head injuries as a result of the attack.
- In Andhra Pradesh, an unidentified group brutally attacked a Christian worker while he was returning from a Lenten prayer meeting at a believer’s home. The attackers covered the man’s face with a mask and tortured him for three hours, while accusing him of being a terrorist. They dragged the man to a schoolyard where they continued to beat him and tried to strangle him.
- Uttar Pradesh police arrested a Christian pastor on false charges on Maundy Thursday. The pastor was charged with paying families to convert to Christianity. The pastor was jailed for one day and ordered to pay a small fine before being released.
The believers and leaders in Madhya Pradesh are asking God to grant them favor from the police. They also request prayer that God would change the hearts of the extremists who are persecuting them and that the extremists would come to know Jesus.
Christians came under attack on Easter last year, too.
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Learn about Gospel for Asia’s work in Madhya Pradesh