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(December 19, 2005) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has just become informed that Christian converts of Bivsi Dabhadi village in the western state of Maharashtra, India have been attacked for a second time in two months in a campaign by the village head to eradicate Christianity from the village.

On December 10, four villagers, including the village head, tried to attack a convert, Dhakya Laksya Bhavar. “The attackers came with sticks, stones and sickles to beat the convert, but he managed to escape,” a representative of the local Friend Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) told ICC. The convert promptly lodged a police complaint, but the police had not arrested any of the attackers at press time.

Prior to this, a group of about 20 villagers led by the village head assaulted two converts, Rajalya and Soma Bhavar, on November 1. The attackers beat the two Christians with sticks and told them they were not allowed to live in the village. Both received internal injuries. The mob also vandalized the houses of six other Christians.

Although the Christian victims went to the police station to lodge a complaint, the police did not accept it. Rather, the police inspector accepted a false complaint that one of the attackers lodged against the Christian victims. An ICC representative spoke to Inspector C.R. Jhadav of the Kasa police station about the lack of police action in regards to the Christians. The inspector said he had no knowledge of attacks against Christians.

After the Christians returned from the police station, the village head told them that he would throw them out of the village no matter which police station or government official they approached. He also promised them at this point that he would eradicate Christianity from the village.
A representative of FMPB said that the village head “began the anti-Christian campaign about two years ago by physically attacking Christians and asking them to re-convert to their original faith.”

“Anti-Christian villagers have also been trying to make the Christians go back to their old habit of drinking alcohol ever since. But, the Christians have not given in to their continual coercion,” he added.