A 16-year-old Christian suffered burns over 60 percent of his body after he was attacked with acid in eastern India's Bihar state.
The family of the teenage boy says they believe that Hindu nationalists are responsible for the attack. The boy is a leader in a local Christian church.
Nitish Kumar was attacked with acid last week not long after he left his house in a village to go to the market early in the morning, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported on Saturday.
Locals carried the boy back home after the attack, The Christian Post reports.
"It was a horrifying scene of my brother," Kumar's sister said, "I started yelling and crying looking at my brother. He was in terrible pain at that point, and all that I could do is to share the pain by wrapping him in my hands."
The family regularly holds Christian gatherings in their home. They converted to Christianity two years ago after they said they were delivered from an evil spirit.
"I don't understand why this happened to my son and who might have done it, we didn't do any harm to anybody in our village or anywhere else. My heart pains when I see my son," the victim's father, Bhakil Das, was quoted as saying.
India ranks as the 10th worst country in the world for Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA's 2021 World Watch List. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has also asked the U.S. State Department to label India as a "country of particular concern" for engaging in or tolerating severe religious freedom violations.
Christians make up about 2.5 percent of India's population, while Hindus make up about 79.5 percent.
Photo courtesy: ©Fati Abdul/Pixabay
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.