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09/05/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to local report, three young Christians from Talbora village, located in India’s Odisha state, were banished from their home village because they refused to renounce their Christian faith and convert to Hinduism.

Surander, age 22, Subash, age 20, and Jamuna, age 19, became Christians in 2017 and were baptized in 2018 and 2019. Because there was no church in their village, they would walk to a nearby village called Padmathopa to attend weekly worship.

Jamuna’s parents did not approve of their daughter’s new faith and decided they would marry her to a Hindu boy. Jamuna refused her parents decision and secretly married Subash in the church in Padmathopa.

In Talbora, Surander led small prayer meetings under the trees and in open fields. Other villagers in Talbora saw this activity and became very hostile towards the young Christians when others started to listen to Surander’s preaching.

On August 29, Surander, Subash, Jamuna, and six others who had attended Surander’s prayer meetings were called to a village meeting. At this meeting, the Christians were threatened with severe consequences if they did not renounce their Christian faith.

Six Christians feared these consequences and renounced their Christian faith. However, Surander, Subash, and Jamuna stood firm in their faith. For this, they were banished from the village.

Surander, Subash, and Jamuna left Talbora with nothing but their Bibles, some food, and a few other things given to them by their parents. Through the night, they traveled to Padmathopa where they attended church. In Padmathopa, they were taken in by the local pastor who continues to support the three young Christians amid their banishment.

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