20 Christians Severely Injured in Attack on Prayer Meeting in UP

Published 16 July 2018  |  
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Over 20 Christians have been seriously injured in an assault on a prayer meeting in Uttar Pradesh on July 2. Six of the Christian victims were charged with multiple false criminal charges by the village president, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported.

ICC said that a mob of 35 Hindu extremists attacked the meeting and beat the group of over 150 Christians gathered for prayer in Raikashipur village, in the Pratapgarh District, U.P.

According to the Christian body, prayer meetings are held every Monday in Raikashipur village. For the last five years, nearly 300 people participate in the meetings.

On July 2, around 2:00 p.m., the mob arrived at the prayer meeting in several vehicles. They charged into the meeting hall and thrashed the Christians gathered there with wooden sticks. Gunshots were also fired into the air five times to frighten the Christians. During the attack, 20 Christians were seriously injured, 10 motorcycles were damaged, and the furniture, musical instruments and chairs were destroyed.

"I didn't sleep or eat properly for nearly a week now," Ram Kumar Gautam, a 42-year-old Christian who heads the prayer meetings told ICC.

"The attack on our prayer meeting last Monday has had devastating consequences. Many have serious injuries with their limbs being broken. Also, a false case was booked against six of us under stringent IPC sections," he added.

Following the false complaints against Christian victims, the village Pradhan lodged false criminal charges against six Christians, including Gautam , under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 452, 323, 504, 506, 392, and 295A.

"We peacefully conduct prayers every Monday and people voluntarily attend these prayers," said Gautam.

"We don't even talk about conversions, but I am accused of converting people. People come to our prayer and get healing. That's why people choose to regularly attend the prayers," he added, according to Christians Headlines.com.

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