Home Christian News Christians Confined to Home by Police, Tribal Threats in India

Christians Confined to Home by Police, Tribal Threats in India

“In less than 24 hours, the videos and photographs got circulated across the state,” Korwa said. “We did not kill anyone, we did not steal anybody’s money, and we did not cheat anyone. Yet we have been in the spotlight only because we have put faith in Christ. They have projected us as criminals.”

Garhwa police did not respond to Morning Star News efforts to contact them.

Ostracized

The ethnic Korwa villagers had officially ostracized the family, forbidding them to socialize or share food with others in the community, after they were baptized the first week of January, Asha Korwa said.

“The Korwa leaders issued warnings that nobody will be given in marriage or accepted into Korwa community from Christians,” she told Morning Star News. “The entire community was fuming in anger, and we feared that they would attack us. Once the leaders of the community expel a member, they have to face the wrath of every other person.”

The village leaders also announced that anyone caught attending Christian worship or socializing with the Christians would receive 51 blows from a lathi, a bamboo club bound with iron, must do 100 sit-ups (a traditional punishment) and be fined 25,000 rupees (US$330).

A local woman who had joined the family for worship on Jan. 31 was punished with lathi blows, sit-ups and a fine, Korwa said.

“At least 40 members of the Korwa community have come to Christ, but we could not gather for prayers even during Holy Week,” Korwa said. “We are worshipping secretly in homes.”

The Korwa tribe, known for hunting and agriculture, lives in virtual isolation in the forests of eastern and northern India.

“We do not know for how long this will continue,” Asha Korwa said. “We must share the gospel among our Korwa community members. They also should know and experience the love of Christ.”

The Jharkhand coordinator for legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom India assured the family of legal assistance. He is in constant contact with the family, telling them to inform him immediately of any signs of further attacks, he said.

Christian families in the village requested prayer for freedom to fellowship and share about Christ with their neighbors and relatives.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, as it was in 2020. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position worsened after Modi came to power.


This article originally appeared on MorningStarNews.org. If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit MorningStarNews.org for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

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