An Evangelical Pastor and Christian church goers were attacked by a violent Hindu mob, in what critics have identified as religious hate crimes.
According to sources, the Pastor, identified only as Pastor Kiran, was accompanied by a group of evangelical Christians while visiting a fellow church member in Nalgonda district, South East India's Andhra Pradesh state.
According to witnesses, an unidentified group of Hindu fundamentalists became outraged after they spotted Kiran and his group carrying some Christian literature, according to All India Christian Council (AICC).
The mob accused the evangelicals of plotting to conduct forced conversions, suggesting that Kiran and his group were seeking to convert non-Christians to Christianity whether or not the non-Christians were willing.
Although Kiran has vigorously denied the allegations, he and the church members were reportedly severely beaten although sources deny that there were any serious injuries.
It is believed that the pastor was taken to a local police station, by the angry Hindu mob, where law enforcement failed to file any charges against him which critics attribute to Kiran's innocence.
Hindu extremism appears to be on the rise in India, with an increase in attacks against Christian pastors becoming more prevalent.
On Wednesday, Protestant Pastor Pabita Mohan Kota's Kandhamal district home was attacked by what sources confirm was Hindu extremists, according to BosNewsLife.
Kota's wife, whose name is being withheld for security purposes, said that her family was attacked in a religious hate crime.
One of the extremists was, "...in an inebriated state due to consumption of liquor and came shouting towards our house...He pushed my daughters, shouting 'You Christians must not live here. It is not your permanent owned or legal land,'" Kota's wife told BosNewsLife.
Kota, who is an already frail old man, has seen his health worsen since the attack and one missionary described the toll which the attacks have had on the pastor and his family.
"Though damage to the house is not much, the mental torture, tension and fear is much and irreparable," Missionary K J Markose of the Catholic Montfort Missionaries group said.
Markose also said that the pastor is on trial vigorously denying "false claims" that critic argue have stemmed from heightened religious tensions.
Hinduism is the dominant religion in India with over 80 percent of the population identifying themselves as Hindu. Christians are still overwhelming minority, accounting for roughly 2 percent of the population.
The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) are urging Christians to write to the Chief Minister and demand security for Christians and their churches.
Christian Post Contributor