Mob Attacks Christian Community in India, Burns Bibles, and Attempts to Rape Young Woman

Christians meet near their rebuilt church in Kandhamal. In 2008, almost every church in the area was destroyed by Hindu nationalists. | John Fredricks

Amid tensions in southern parts of the east Indian state of Chhattisgarh, a mob of 50 people armed with homemade weapons attacked a community of 100 Christians, injuring at least 27, and attempted to rape a young woman, according to persecution watchdogs.

The Christians were attacked after midnight on Nov. 24, hours after they held a meeting to plan the observance of the Advent season and to celebrate the birth of a child in their community in Singawaram village of Sukma district in southern Chhattisgarh, the U.K.-based Christians Solidarity Worldwide reported.

The mob, comprised of men from the same tribe who were not Christian, also burned Bibles and damaged motorcycles belonging to the Christians, CSW said, adding that the attackers accused the Christians of destroying the local culture by practicing a foreign religion.

The U.S.-based Morning Star News, which reports on Christian persecution worldwide, said the attackers were carrying bamboo sticks, iron rods, bows and arrows, and iron sickles. They attacked a home, where about 25 friends and family were sleeping, as well as an adjoining church hall, where about 30 Christians were sleeping, it added.

“They beat up the children as well as the women who were cooking food outside,” a 21-year-old survivor, Laxman Mandavi, was quoted as saying. “While the children were beaten up with hands and feet, the others were shot at with arrows and beaten up with iron rods.”

Mandavi said four of the attackers attempted to rape a young Christian woman whom they found in a room. “The attackers surrounded an unmarried sister and tore her clothes, attempting to rape her. When she started screaming loudly, they dragged her outside and beat her black and blue. She sustained severe internal injuries.”

Another victim, 24-year-old Laxshu Madkam, was quoted as saying: “It was complete mayhem, and people were running to save their lives. I received two cuts on my back. My motorbike was broken. The attackers broke 10 more motorbikes. They pulled the petrol pipes out of 20 more bikes and let the fuel flow.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar