04/01/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – On March 17, a Christian home was burned to ash in Dundikheda village, located in India’s Gujarat State. According to a local pastor, the home was burned by local Hindu radicals that had been harassing the Christian family for nearly a decade.
The incident took place at 3 a.m. on March 17 while Sudiya Tejiya and his family of eight slept inside their house. Fortunately, the entire family rushed outside of the house when they became aware of the flames. While the family escaped the tragedy with their lives, they have become homeless and are now staying with relatives.
According to Pastor Kamlesh, a local pastor in Dundikheda, Tejiya and his family converted to Christianity approximately ten years ago. Since their conversion, Pastor Kamlesh reports that the family has faced harassment from local villagers who want them to recant their Christian faith. This harassment has become more severe in the past two years.
“I suspect that this is the work of the villagers who opposed the family practicing their Christian faith,” Pastor Kamlesh told International Christian Concern (ICC). “I have also faced threats working with Sudiya’s family. I cannot visit the family and conduct Christian prayers there. I have also had to minimize my visits to the village as well.”
According to local sources, a First Information Report (FIR), which would initiate a criminal investigation, has yet to be filed. According to these sources, this is due to the influence of local Hindu radical organizations.
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