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Families that were driven out of Katholi village.
Photo: Morning Star News

Children were among the 28 Christians who were beaten and driven from their homes twice within a two-day period. Local Hindu extremists in Katholi village had summoned four families to a public meeting -- demanding that they recant their faith -- but the families refused. In the first attack, six believers were badly injured and needed medical treatment. When they returned to Katholi the next day, they were subjected again to further physical assault.

The perpetrators justified the attacks by claiming their "gods were angry" that their neighbours had become Christians. After the police intervened and the assailants agreed not to attack again, the families were able to return to their homes.

Meanwhile, about 80 kilometres away in Sukma village, other Hindu extremists subjected two Christians to a two-hour "purification" ritual in which one of them was burned as fire-heated coins were forcibly placed on his tongue. He also suffered burns to his back, shoulders, knees and feet. When the two Christians still refused to deny Christ, they were fined as well.

In India's central Chhattisgarh state, there were 49 reported incidents of organized attacks on Christians between January and April of this year alone. More about persecution in this country is available at the India Country Report.

Please pray for the peace and protection of Christians throughout Chhattisgarh state, particularly for families in the villages of Katholi and Sukma. May the governing officials in India do more to uphold the religious rights of all citizens so these faithful believers will be able to practise their faith freely. Ask the Lord to change the hearts of those who have inflicted these injuries, helping them to understand the error of their ways and, ultimately, drawing them to faith in Him.