09/10/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to local reports, six Christian families from a village in India’s Karnataka state have been socially boycotted after being brutally attacked by a mob of religious fanatics. The attack was allegedly instigated after the Christian families refused to renounce their Christian faith and return to their tribal animistic religion.
On Saturday, September 5, six Christian families from Chennahalli village, located in the Bellary district, were summoned to meeting with leaders of a religious fanatic group called Seva Lal Sangatana, led by Ramchandra Nayak. At this meeting, the Christians were told they were no longer allowed to attend church and that they must renounce their Christian faith.
When this demand was refused, 30 members of the Seva Lal Sangatana group attacked the Christians and beat them. As a result, Raja Nayak, Boja Nayak, Shanti Kumar Nayak, and Shankar Nayak were injured.
The incident was reported to the police in Hadupanahalli, however, no First Information Report (FIR) was filed. Instead, two police officers were sent to Chennahalli to protect the Christian families while a compromise between the Seva Lal Sangatana group and the Christians was reached. On Tuesday, September 8, the police, local Christians, and the Seva Lal Sangatana group worked out a local compromise in response to the September 5 assault.
However, on the day following the agreement of the compromise, members of the Seva Lal Sangatana group announced that social boycott against the six Christian families of Chennahalli had been instituted. As a part of this boycott, non-Christian villagers were told that they were not allowed to associate with the Christians, go to their fields to work, employ a Christian in their own fields, or even allow the Christians to purchase groceries from the local store. The fanatics imposed a fine of 100,000 rupees to anyone caught violating the boycott.
“There has been increased hostility against Christians in recent months, particularly among the Lambada community,” Pastor Raj Kumar, a local pastor, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “This is the fifth incident in the last three months.”
“We have found that extremists like the Seva Lal Sangatana work hand in hand with the Hindu radicals and both seem to target Christians,” Pastor Kumar continued. “There has been systematic aggression against Christians in this region.”
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