There is a growing concern among Christians living in southern India following a Bible burning incident involving Hindu radicals and senior members of Gideons International last January. The group recounted what exactly happened in an exclusive interview as anti-Christian attacks have seemingly risen in the region.
Speaking with Morning Star News, the members said that the Hindu radicals at Singotam village who had attacked them did not seem to consider that they were old people. The attackers did not hold back from getting the Bibles out of the car and proceeded to kick and tear the pages of the books. Someone was also instructed to pour gasoline on the Bibles and burn them.
The men then threatened the members of Gideons International that they would get hurt if they continued to distribute Bibles to local residents. The incident was actually caught on video and has made rounds on social media.
The Christian group members said that they had gotten permission from a government school headmaster to distribute Bibles to the school children in Singotam. For the last 30 years, Christians in this area have done the same Bible distribution activities without any incident.
Before the attack, the group had already handed out 170 books, but as several copies still remained in their cars, they thought to give these away at shops. Ten men, however, approached them and started badgering them and asking questions.
"The Hindus harassed us and even threatened to beat my wife," K.J. Anandham told the reporters. "We are all retired employees and senior citizens; they did not have courtesy for age. Their language was uncivilized and brutal."
Cases have been filed with the police against the harassers, who also filed counter-charges. However, authorities told reporters that the case would not go to court pending an order from the District Collector. Sources also said that the police allegedly took out the names of the assailants in its report, which might not lead to any arrests or trials.
Other Christian Indian groups protested the harassment and held a peace rally. They demanded that the government should provide protection for Christians and Christian churches as with any other locals or groups.