Christian Families in Eastern India Forced to ‘Reconvert’ or be Banished

07/16/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, 12 Christian families in eastern India have been faced with an ultimatum by village leaders. They can ‘reconvert’ to the Sarna tribal religion or they can be forever banished from Mahuatoli village, located in the Gumla District of India’s Jharkhand state.

The trouble started last month when, on June 14, a mob attacked the 12 Christian families and threatened them with banishment. Twenty villages broke into the home of Jogiya Munda, dragged him and his mother before an idol, and forced the Christians to participate in a ‘reconversion ritual’. Another two Christian families were also forced to undergo the same ritual.

In response, most of the Christian families fled Mahuatoli village. However, two of the families forced to ‘reconvert’ decided to stay in the village.

Speaking to Morning Star News, Pastor Boyen Munda, remarked on the significant increase in violence, “Threats have always been there in this area in Gumla District, but it has never escalated to this point that the Sarna extremists vowed to take lives.

In addition to the forced ‘reconversion rituals’ and threats of banishment, the Christian families of Mahuatoli have also been refused water supplies for farming and have had the electricity to their homes disconnected. In effect, these displaced Christians face a siege against the faith of their choice.

Instances of anti-Christian violence and social boycotts, as seen in Mahuatoli village, continue to be reported across India. Many blame the increase in religious intolerance on the free hand given to radical Hindu nationalist groups operating across India by the current BJP-led government.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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