Displaced Christians Return to Home Villages in Central India
12/11/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to local sources, 16 Christian families that were displaced in September 2020 have returned to their home villages in the Kondagoan district of India’s Chhattisgarh state. The return of these Christian families took place after a court ordered district authorities in Kondagoan to provide the Christians with security.
“Things have improved now and there is comparative peace in the village,” Tilo Sori, a Christian from Kakadabeda, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “We are living in our own houses as opposed to all living together which is what happened after the incident.”
“Our houses remain damaged,” Sori continued. “I think people from the government will be visiting and inspecting our houses. We are not sure when we will have proper houses with full living condition.”
On September 22 and 23, Christians from three villages in the Kondagaon district were attacked by a mob of nationalists after they refused to publicly recant their Christian faith. The nationalists physically assaulted the Christians in the presence of police and destroyed 16 houses across the three villages.
Approximately 100 Christians were displaced as a result of the violence. Several victims filed a Public Interest Litigation suit and the High Court of Bilaspur ordered the Kondagaon district administration to facilitate their safe return to their home villages.
According to a local source, Christian worship services resumed in Kakadabeda last Sunday with police protection. While things have improved, the situation in these three villagers remains far from normal. Many of the Christians are fearful that they will be attacked again. One Christian reported being afraid to walk around the village on their own.
“We are grateful to the courts and authorities,” one Christian, who requested anonymity, told ICC. “We are back in our village with our families. We hope that the government will help us to live freely and help repair our houses. We are also thankful for the police camp outside of the village. We feel some extent of safety.”
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.