By BosNewsLife Asia Service
NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)—Evangelical Christians in central India are recovering after Hindu militants reportedly attacked them at a Pentecostal church, injuring a pastor and other believers while forcing several worshipers to “reconvert” to Hinduism.
Worshipers were dragged out of the church building of the Independent Pentecostal Church in the village of Kohkameta in Chhattisgarh state, witnesses said, adding that some were beaten with sticks and needed to be hospitalized following the October 25 incident.
Several victims became unconscious and required hospitalization, including the pastor, Christians said. Others were allegedly forced to sign forms indicating that they have renounced Christianity. “They forced believers to sign,” one of the victims said in published remarks. “When a believer refused, the villagers began to beat them again.”
Two days prior to the incident attackers reportedly planned to end all Christian activities in the village, part of what rights activists view as a growing trend in India, a heavily Hindu nation.
Four assaulted families reluctantly “reconverted” to Hinduism, though evangelical Christians believe that Jesus Christ will never abandon those who made a decision to follow Him. Five other believers were reportedly “reinitiated” at a local Hindu temple.
Those in hospital were also forced to sign reconversion forms, though some were illiterate, Christians familiar with the case said.
The pledge is a court affidavit, which means anyone who violates it could be detained, according to the news agency of Open Doors, a Christian advocacy and aid group.
Hindu villagers who supported the attack told media that the Christians had “beaten them” and “disposed” of their “gods and goddesses.”
Hindu groups have expressed concerns over spreading Christianity among especially Dalits, deemed the lowest caste in India’s ancient system of Hinduism.
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