India: Hindu Mob Pelts Christian Home with Stones, Threatens to Kill Organizers of Christian Film Screening

September 21, 2019

“They were shouting at the family that they are supporting in converting Hindus to a foreign faith, and that we must be killed – ‘Release them to us. We will see their end,’ they kept shouting.”

Hindu extremists see Christianity as an alien and unwelcome element in India, heedless of the fact that Christianity was brought to India in the first century by St. Thomas the Apostle and has had a continuous presence there since then: there still exist Christian communities in India that trace their episcopal lineage back to St. Thomas. The Hindu nationalist rage against Christianity is based either upon ignorance of this history or a deliberate attempt to obliterate it. But it is not abating. Instead, it is only growing in fervor.

“Hindu Extremists Demand Death of One of Organizers of Christian Film in India,” Morning Star News, September 6, 2019:

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Immanuel Tirkey and about 100 villagers were watching the end of a Christian film in Bihar state, India, when a man stood up in front of the screen and began shouting, “Who is the operator here? Who is the operator here?”

Tirkey, one of five Christians who had organized the screening of “He Will Come Again” at the home of a Christian woman identified only as Anandi on Aug. 23 in the Kodaila area of Jamalpur village, Siwan District, rose and asked what was the matter. The man told him to reduce the volume, and Tirkey did so.

“He was again and again asking me to reduce the volume,” Tirkey told Morning Star News. “I told him that if I reduced it more, it will not be audible to anybody seated here, and that there are only 10 minutes left for the movie to end.”

The man left, but as the villagers were gathering their belongings to leave after the screening, at least 15 Hindu villagers arrived with swords, bamboo poles and wooden sticks, he said. Anandi’s family immediately rushed Tirkey and the other four Christian organizers of the screening into their house and locked the doors.

“The batch of Hindu villagers abused them in filthy language, scattered the congregation and besieged the house,” Tirkey said. “It was midnight, and soon a mob of 250 angry, upper-caste Hindus showed up with lathis [heavy sticks bound with iron] and steel rods.”

Pelting the house with stones and vandalizing a motorbike and a van, they banged on the doors and badgered Anandi’s family to hand the Christians over to them, Tirkey said. He and the other four Christian organizers repeatedly requested that the family let them go outside, but they refused, saying they would face whatever came rather than turn them over to the mob, he said.

“They were shouting at the family that they are supporting in converting Hindus to a foreign faith, and that we must be killed – ‘Release them to us. We will see their end,’ they kept shouting,” Tirkey said. “We did not know what to do.”

He called his native missions office and gave their Google Maps location via WhatsApp. Missions officials contacted Persecution Relief founder Shibu Thomas, who informed the police, and officers from Aandar police station arrived, Tirkey said.

The Christians urged police not to arrest anyone, emphatic that they wished to settle the matter by themselves, he said, adding that officers told them that they should have obtained permission from the village heads or police to show film.

“Then we asked the police if there is any rule that Hindus take permission for every puja [worship ritual] and rituals they perform in this village – then why is it different for Christians?”

They told police that everyone watching the film came of their own free will and were not forced, adding that they had already showed it in 17 villages and not faced any opposition. The policemen told them that the mob outside was made up of upper-caste families, and that they were waiting to kill them, he said….