Village in India’s Chhattisgarh State Uses Local Ordinance to Make Christianity Illegal
04/25/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – Under India’s constitution, people’s right to religious freedom is broadly protected by Article 25. In practice, however, this right has become overshadowed by conflicting laws and the actions local governments.
This fact of life in India was recently demonstrated by unconstitutional actions taken by village leaders in the village of Penkodo, located in India’s Chhattisgarh state. In Penkodo, village leaders passed a resolution that both condemned and prohibited the practice of Christianity. To justify these unconstitutional actions, the village leaders used local laws allowing them to pass village resolutions aimed at protecting their traditional customs and culture.
According to local reports, the residents of Penkodo became irritated with local Christians because they were not participating in traditional Adivasi festivals. Village leaders asked the Christians to stop practicing their faith, but the Christians refused.
Upset, the village leaders drafted an official ordinance on April 13, condemning Christianity and claiming it was harming local practices and traditions. The ordinance also declared that the local church should be destroyed and that all Christians should be driven out of the village.
Steadfast, the Christians informed the village leaders that they would not stop going to church or following Jesus. They also reportedly said that if the village leaders destroyed the church, they would take legal action to protect their religious rights.
To date, the situation in Penkodo has not been resolved. Local authorities have encouraged both sides to compromise with each other, but this has not produced positive results.
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