A Christian women's prayer meeting was disrupted in India on Sunday when a mob of Hindu hardliners verbally abused them and threatened to attack them if they meet again for prayer, sources have told religious freedom advocacy CSW.

About 30 women were at the meeting held in a pastor's home in Vairichettipalayam village in Tamil Nadu when some 35 people burst in and demanded they stop immediately, according to reports received by CSW. One source said the same group had disrupted a church service in a nearby village that morning.

CSW said religious freedom violations were "becoming a norm for religious minorities in the southern state of Tamil Nadu".

"Examples include harassment, intrusion of private places of worship, targeted attacks and the use of ‘anti-church’ posters in public places," the UK-based organisation said in a statement. "Local sources report that the state is one of several which have witnessed a sharp increase in targeted violence based on religion."

Human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said the past five years under President Narendra Modi had seen a "sharp rise" in mob attacks on Christians and Muslims with reports of violence against Christians in 13 states in January alone. There have been reports in Tamil Nadu of a mob forcibly taking Christians into a temple, smearing ash on their foreheads and forcing them to worship Hindu gods.

"Independent India has not seen this kind of intolerance towards minorities," CSW quoted Hashmi as saying. "Nothing short of a defeat of Modi’s regime in the upcoming elections can change the situation."

Mervyn Thomas, CEO of CSW, said reports of such attacks are "deeply disturbing" and urged police to investigate and prosecute those responsible.