NEW DELHI, INDIA
Staff of a missionary school in India’s eastern state of Andhra Pradesh faced another day of anxiety Thursday, July 8, after Hindu militants attacked and threatened to kill them for allegedly converting Hindus to Christianity, Christians said.
Witnesses said at least three Hindu militants raided the Good Shepherd School in the village of Ippallapally on May 29, hitting several teachers and warning them to stop working in the village. They apparently also called them several derogatory names and threatened to kill them.
Raj Kumar, the school’s principal, suggested in published remarks he was shocked about the attack. “We have been doing social work in this village for the last three years, and have been involved in educational and community development programs,” he said in a statement distributed by advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).
However, “While we were advertising for new students in the village, three Hindutva activists approached us and abused us.” Hindutva is a term used to describe movements advocating Hindu nationalism in India.
The Good Shepherd School is a missionary school with seven staff members, and teaches 134 students from ages three to six, ICC said. It apparently includes in its curriculum a Biblical approach to science and ethics.
The school filed a complaint with the police, who reportedly promised to investigate. However Christians said they were still awaiting concrete actions against suspects Thursday, July 8.
The latest incident came amid reports of several attacks against India’s Christian minority. “This incident illustrates that radical Hindu persecution of Christians in India is a common occurrence,” said ICC Advocacy Director Jeremy Sewall.
“Hindu persecution of Christians in India is a common occurrence. Christian teachers ministering to India’s children risk their lives to bring the Gospel.”