UCA News

Christian prayer service attacked in India’s capital

Five persons injured as an armed, slogan-shouting hardline Hindu group targeted a Protestant assembly in Delhi
Christians protest in India’s financial capital Mumbai against increasing violence against them and their places of worship, on April 12

Christians protest in India’s financial capital Mumbai against increasing violence against them and their places of worship, on April 12. (Photo supplied)

Published: August 21, 2023 11:18 AM GMT
Updated: August 21, 2023 11:56 AM GMT

Five Christians were injured when a hardline Hindu group disrupted a Sunday service in India’s national capital New Delhi.

According to media reports, Christians were attacked by members of the Bajrang Dal (Brigade of Lord Hanuman) while praying inside Siyyon Prathna Bhawan, an independent Protestant group, in the Tahirpur area in East Delhi on Aug. 20. 

Nearly 100 Bajrang Dal members barged into the prayer hall with loudspeakers and shouted, “Hindu Rashtra Banayenge. Jai Shri Ram" (We will make India a Hindu nation. Hail Lord Ram).

“I along with my colleague, Sanjay Mcgee, rushed to the place and took three women and two men who sustained injuries to the hospital,” Christian activist Minakshi Singh told UCA News on Aug. 21.

We could file the complaint late in the night, she added.

Singh, general secretary of Unity in Compassion, a charity based in neighboring Uttar Pradesh, said, “Pastor Satpal Bhati has been running the house church for the last 13 years and there was no problem."

She said the police have verified the CCTV footage and hoped they will do their duty sincerely.

At the time of filing the complaint, some 400-500 people gathered outside the police station, shouting pro-Hindu slogans, she recollected.

"If the mob is allowed to protest outside the police station, they may not hesitate to attack more churches in Delhi," Singh said.

It is high time the administration takes note of this as it may become a bigger issue in the future, the Christian lay leader added.

Shivam, an eyewitness who is identified by his first name, told media people that the Hindu group entered the prayer hall and began shouting slogans that claimed the country has changed and was no longer secular. The rules have changed, they said.

He said, "They attacked the believers with sticks."

Shivam's sister suffered a muscle injury. Three other women who did not want to be named claimed that they were beaten and the vandals tried to disrobe them.

However, a Bajrang Dal member claimed that “they [Christians] attacked us first, and they were attempting religious conversions, which we won’t allow.” 

“Why do they want to pray in a Hindu-majority area?” he asked.

“Our festival – Rakshabandhan [Hindu festival dedicated to the bond between brothers and sisters] – is coming in a few days, and we will not allow conversion in our area,” he said.

The Wire, an online news media based in Delhi, said the group was armed with swords and sticks and destroyed copies of the Bible.

“We have been praying here for 13 years. The Christian community lives in constant fear for their lives,” Pastor Bhati told the media.

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1 Comments on this Story
HOW DARE THERSE BJP GOONDAS disrupt a church service? christians have become soft targets because our leaders have NO BALLS TO ATTACK THE GOVT. the bjp goondas know that they have the support of the high command who will squash their cases before they go to court. MEN ATTACKING WOMEN!!!
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