A Christian teenager from North India reportedly died from an acid attack, but the police made no arrests of the suspects, letting them remain free.
CBN News said the 16-year-old boy was identified as Nitish Kumar who died from acid burns on September 26. Kumar was attacked on August 11 by unidentified assailants who threw acid on him while he was passing through the Bihar State of India.
Kumar was on his way to the Kamtanagar market in Gaya District when the attackers riding the motorcycle came behind him and poured the acid onto him. Local reports said he was attacked mainly for being a Christian.
Kumar's local pastor told the International Christian Concern in an interview that the doctors tried all they can to revive him. The doctors said that around 60 percent of Kumar's skin was burned by the acid such that his whole body had to be bandaged and dressed regularly.
"The doctors have tried every possible way to revive Nitish. Every alternative day, the doctors gave one unit of blood and had regular dressing changed on almost the entire body. We hoped that he would bounce back to life, but we know God has His way and time," the unnamed pastor said.
The pastor said Kumar's death has brought fear to the rest of the Christians there, which gives height to the increase of persecutions experienced in the district recently.
"This is very cruel of what happened to Nitish Kumar, it just terrified the Christian community in the region. There has been increased anti-Christian sentiment, and attacks against Christians in the district are increasing, and these attacks are becoming more brutal, just like what happened to Nitish Kumar," the pastor disclosed.
Accordingly, Kumar and his family converted to Christianity in 2019 after they were delivered from an evil spirit. They then became active in the church where members of the family became leaders and led fellowships held in their own house. Fellowships normally involved prayer gatherings attended by more than a dozen people.
Kumar's funeral was held last Sunday yet no arrests have been made by local officials on the case.
Christianity reportedly grew in India despite the massive persecution against it and on top of the pandemic. Notwithstanding, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom was "pressured" in April into including India as part of its report as a "country of particular concern" in the face of increasing violations on religious practices of Christians and other minority religions.
The USCIRF does acknowledge the "drastic turn downward" of religious freedom in India due to the government "tolerating widespread harassment and violence against religious minorities." The USCIRF noted that the government actually provides citizenship to a certain group of people.
The USCIRF, in a report dated September 2, stressed its recommendation to the State Department to recognize India as a "Country of Particular Concern" since their government has been pushing the "promotion of Hindu nationalist policies resulting in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom."
As of July, there were more than 150 cases of violence recorded against Christian churches in India as verified by the human rights group United Christian Forum. The crimes were said to have been experienced across 17 different states in India that resulted to 18 incidents of property damages. The conflict against Christians heightened in August after Hindu leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party urged for violence during a rally. The said leaders asked people to "drag" Christians "from the church."