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01/18/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – Jagu Purti and his family attempted to return to their home in Balandabandi village of Jajpur, Odisha in India on December 26, 2019. However, their faith in Christ pushed their own family members to deny them access to their family home, and they were kicked out.

Jagu Purti, his wife and his son all accepted Christ several years ago in 2016. Once they were baptized, their family began to act strangely and eventually kicked them out of the family home. Jagu’s father and brother threatened him to renounce his faith. Clinging to their newfound faith, the Christian family left, leaving everything behind. Their livelihood and substance from the family cows was now gone.

Moved by love for her son, Jagu’s mother called the young family back. However, the village murmured against them, wondering why they were permitted back without recanting their faith. Following abuse and compelled by the village pressure, they were once again forced from their homes.

As Christmas time neared, the family sought refuge for the second time. Turned away from their village, they pleaded to be allowed to take some of their old belongings with them. Neighbors taunted them saying “the God you believe in, if he is true, then he will provide you these things”.

Empty handed, the family left and found themselves in Madhumuna, an adjacent village, at a local believer’s house. The family welcomed them in and shared with them what little they had.

This is not only the story of Jagu but of four other families who are also facing social boycott in Telibari village. These families are banned from using the primary source. They are also being excluded from government-provided day laborer jobs like village road construction and school construction. These four families are being forced to travel far distances to find work. Social boycotts and discrimination often push Indian Christians from the  communities they grew up in. Without the community support, they struggle to find jobs and acceptance.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]