Christians suffer extremist attacks during church service – India

Barnabas Fund. A pastor and several worshippers have been injured following a shooting spree in early March by a man protesting against conversions from Hinduism to Christianity. A bomb was also detonated in the church in India‘s eastern state of Bihar. The attacker burst into the church during a worship service carrying a pistol, ammunition and anti-Christian pamphlets protesting against what he called “forcible conversions”. The 35-year-old pastor, Vinod Bhaskar, was shot in the chest and was rushed to a nearby hospital in a critical condition. At least four other worshippers, including a six-yearold child, were also taken to hospital. The attacker was restrained by a group of the churchgoers and was arrested by the police. It is not clear if the attacker acted alone but there have been no claims of responsibility for the attack. It has been reported that the Christians and pastor have received death threats from nationalist Hindus. India is a majority Hindu nation with over one billion people. In recent months, Christians have been targeted by those who oppose the spread of Christianity in India. Earlier this month, suspected Hindu militants attempted to break in to the home of a Christian pastor in the state of Uttar Pradesh who has seen a substantial increase in Christians attending the church that he leads. These attacks come at a time when the government is under increased international pressure to tackle extremism against India‘s Christian minority. • Pray for the pastor and those injured in the attack in Bihar, for God’s healing hand to be upon them. • Pray for the attacker of the church in Bihar, that he repents of his actions and comes to know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ. • Pray that the government of India will have the wisdom and courage to calm the anger among Hindu activists and tackle extremism against local Christians.

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