An Indian priest is in a critical condition in hospital, after he and three lay officials were attacked by a mob in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, reports UCAN.

Fr. Jose Kannumkuzhy and the laymen were attacked by a group of around 35 men, as they waited in a car outside a police station.

Meanwhile, a Hindu man was beaten in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh following rumours that he had converted to Christianity.

Awadesh Savita, 35, was attacked by around 20 men, who made a barber shave his head, as well as half of his moustache and one eyebrow, reports UCAN. The police have arrested 20 suspects and promised to make more arrests.

His wife denied that they had converted. The rumours began after they took their seven-year-old son to a Christian hospital. Conversion is not illegal in India, but anti-conversion laws exist in a handful of Indian states to guard against “forced conversions”. These laws are often abused by hardline Hindus, who accuse Christians of attempting to convert Hindus by force.