The Privilege of Persecution in Northern India

| January 6, 2015

“We will beat them, and all the things they have will be taken.”

This ultimatum from a Hindu extremist group threatened any Christians who would gather to worship in their village. Some members fled to the nearby city of Ranchi, where they found refuge through a local pastor. Those who remained discovered the threats were not empty.

Militants recruited a mob from 21 surrounding villages in northern India. The group descended on the congregants on Sunday morning, yelling insults, tearing up Bibles, and using large bamboo sticks to strike men and women alike. 

One woman recounted the September 2014 attack to pastor Mohan,* whose congregation in Ranchi planted her village church. The mob had chased her, yelling, “Let’s kill her! Finish her off!” When she sought refuge inside her home, they threw large stones on the corrugated roof until it collapsed. Gaining entrance, they beat her with the sticks, smashed every possession, great and small, and stole her legal documents and life’s savings.

Growing Threat

Pastor Mohan’s congregation in Ranchi—the large capital city of the state of Jharkhand—and the churches they have planted face increasing persecution. Other churches and even Muslim groups also fall prey to the more violent expressions of Hindu…

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