02/09/2019, 15.53
INDIA
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Christians beaten during prayer in Uttar Pradesh

by Nirmala Carvalho

The attack, which took place in Sultanpur district, saw three Christians seriously injured; yet, police did not allow them to file a complaint. For Sajan K George, “fanatics are whipping up hostility against Christians for political gain.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A mob of Hindu radicals attacked a group of Protestants during a prayer service led by Rev Ranjit. The incident occurred on Thursday in Chapar, a village in Sultanpur district, Uttar Pradesh.

The faithful "were severely beaten,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), speaking to AsiaNews. “They did not even spare women."

"The GCIC condemns these acts of violence,” he added. “Intolerance towards Christians in Uttar Pradesh is spiralling upward and religious freedom is pulverised by fanatical elements."

According to the Christian leader, the event "is a shame on secular India. It is also a disgrace for the dignity of women, who were victimised in the attack and beaten."

The raid took place at a prayer gathering. A crowd of 25 Hindu radicals broke into the clergyman’s house and began insulting those present. This escalated into slapping and hitting with sticks. Three members of the prayer group – Rakesh, Mukesh and Bhanu Pratap – suffered serious injuries.

The extremists also set some copies of the Bible on fire.

What is most regrettable for Sajan K George, "is that the police, once it arrived at the place, did nothing. It did not allow Christians to file a complaint against the attackers nor let the injured get medical certificates for their injuries."

The president of the GCIC "strongly condemns the incident. Fear is at its highest levels as the general elections (in May) approach. Fanatics are whipping up hostility against Christians for political gain."

The attack against women and the lack of respect for them "is a terrible blot for our society". The same goes for the “lumpen elements who create law and order problems and escape scot free. This emboldens them to continue attacking the vulnerable Christian minority."

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