Police in India's Tamil Nadu state have been accused of being complicit in Hindu nationalists' attack on four Christians during a pre-Christmas event by making it appear that there had been a fight between the two groups.
On Dec. 9, four Christians including a woman were attacked by Hindu extremists in Coimbatore District for organizing a pre-Christmas charity event for poor widows. Police also detained Pastor Vinodh Kumar and allegedly tried to portray it as a quarrel between the two parties instead of arresting the assailants, Morning Star News detailed.
"The police are attempting to show the incident as a fight between Christians and Hindus in a way so it protects the attacker," Pastor Kumar explained to Morning Star. "They want to say there was exchange of words and that both parties quarrelled, so that they have taken me into custody. But it is not true. I was beaten, but they took me into custody instead of arresting the attackers."
Local pastor Karthik Chandran told the publication that Hindu activists barged into their church while they were preparing the sarees and shirts to be given away to the poor widows. The attackers reportedly beat the Christians with stones and steel rods, and a 55-year-old woman who tried to help the victims ended up with a fractured hand.
The Hindu group did not deny what they did, telling Morning Star that a lot of churches were being established in Tamil Nadu and that these Christians were praising Jesus loudly. Police, on the other hand, said the report about the attack was just false news and that no one in the area has been under threat.
Nevertheless, Pastor Chandran said the attack served to strengthen his family's faith in God. He also said he had already forgiven those who hurt them and shared that he will continue to proclaim Christ even after what they had experienced.
Meanwhile in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, Hindu fundamentalists held hostage two priests and set their car on fire for singing Christmas carols. The region's head of public relations, Fr. Stephen Maria, criticized the extremists' attack on freedom of faith and right to celebrate their Christian holidays, Asia News relayed.
The priests were only released after the angry Hindu mob had been dispersed. Their arrest was the second recorded incident of intolerance against Christians during the Advent season in Madhya Pradesh.