A group of radical Hindus attacked a Pentecostal church in Bhayander (Mumbai), destroying furniture and equipment, beating its clergyman and worshipers and launching accusations that they are involved in converting people to Christianity.
Last Friday around 12.30 pm a group of 20 from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu fundamentalist organisation, stormed the ‘Church of God’ in Bhayander, close to the Navghar police station.
According to eyewitness accounts, the hoodlums forced their way into the church shouting slogans like “Jai Hind; Jai Maharashtra; Jai Bajrang Bali”.
After claiming to be from the VHP they said they had information that conversions took place in that church. They then shouted vulgarities and insults and began beating those present. They manhandled the church’s pastor, Rev Felix Fernandes, shoving and pushing him around, stripped and beat him senseless, leaving him unconscious in the street.
Abraham Mathai, deputy chairman of the State Minorities Commission, said the church that was attacked opened 20 years ago.
“These attacks,” he told AsiaNews, “will continue as long as police do not really track the culprits. These Fascist groups are turning our secular democracy into a mobocracy.”