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INDIA – Christians injured and ‘traumatised’ by mob attack

A partially blind girl was among those beaten by a mob of masked Hindu extremists during a recent attack on a church in Uttar Pradesh, northern India.

After the attack in July, which ‘traumatised’ families, nine of about 50 injured Christians needed hospital treatment. As well as the injured girl, identified as Rishu, who was severely beaten with sticks all over her body, a ten-year-old boy needed stitches to a head wound.

Church pastor Gautam told Morning Star News that more of the injured would have sought hospital treatment but were afraid of further violence. Those beaten included children as young as seven as well as women and the elderly, said the pastor.

The attackers, believed to have been members of extremist groups, were accompanied by some villagers.

The pastor said: ‘The way they have relentlessly beaten the believers made me so angry that I wanted to retaliate, but then when I look to God all my anger goes away.’

He said that as well as physical injuries those attacked had also been ‘mentally traumatised’.

Charges against the attackers were registered but no arrests were made. The day after, a counter complaint which carried stricter punishment was made against the Christians.

The attackers have ‘threatened to kill us if we meet for worship again’, said Pastor Gautam, who along with his family has been unable to return to his village for fear of arrest.

  • Please pray for physical and emotional healing, and comfort and justice for our brothers and sisters in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pray that charges against the Christians would be dropped and that Pastor Gautam and his family would be able to return home.
  • Pray that extremists emboldened by the hostile tone of the government, led by the Hindu nationalist BJP, would turn away from their violence and seek reconciliation and forgiveness. (See here for more details about our #Pray50 )

(Source: Morning Star News)

 

UPDATE – PRISONERS RELEASED

We are delighted to report that 35 Christians have been released from a prison in Eritrea. All prisoners (11 women and 24 men) were released on bail from Mai-Sirwa. The conditions of bail are unclear.

Many of those freed are young people and people who are not identified as leaders of their respective groups and fellowships. All the pastors and leaders of the closed churches remain in high-security prisons including the notorious Karsheli prison where prominent church leaders have been held since 2004.

Please continue to pray for long-term prisoners of faith in Eritrea.

(Source: Release partner)

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