On Sunday, January 27, Calvary Gospel Ministry Church, located in Shantipur village in India’s Chhattisgarh state, was attacked by a mob of suspected Hindu radicals. As a result of the attack, the church was vandalized and several members were left injured.
The attack started at approximately 9:30 a.m. as the regular Sunday service was being led by Pastor Ajay Ravi. Around 30 suspected radicals surrounded the small church and began shouting at the 25 believers who had gathered for worship. According to Pastor Ravi, the radicals accused the Christians of insulting their gods and goddesses.
After some time, the radicals demanded that the Christians come out of the church. When the Christians obeyed, they were assaulted with sticks and fists. Ten Christians, including women, were terribly beaten by the radicals. In addition, two bibles were torn to pieces, three musical instruments were damaged, and a motorbike was destroyed.
When police were called to the scene, they suggested the assaulted Christians come to a compromise with their assailants. When the Christians refused, the police refused to register a complaint on behalf of the Christians and threatened to throw them in jail. To date, no criminal complaint has been registered against the radicals by police in Shantipur village.
“I know that I should love my enemies and pray for those who persecute us,” Pastor Ravi told International Christian Concern (ICC). “But God forgives those who confess their sins before him. Unless [the radicals] are convicted of the sin of vandalizing the church, it is not rational to compromise with the persecutors.”