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02/15/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Two families were socially boycotted for refusing to recant their Christian faith over a week ago in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. A village meeting convened on March 6th, where the Hindu inhabitants decided that they would prevent the families from providing for themselves in the village. As part of the social boycott, the two Christian families were strictly prohibited from fetching drinking water from the only public water source in the village, forbidden to purchase groceries from the store in the village, and prevented from working.

According to Pastor Deepak Kumar, a village meeting convened on February 10th where the Christians were told by the village leaders to stop Christian prayers and gatherings in the village and were told to recant their faith in Jesus. After the meeting, several Christians stopped attending prayers in the village, and gradually the number of Christians in the village dropped from 40 to 12. When the two families making up the 12 remaining Christians refused to give up their faith, the village convened the March 6th meeting and decided to exclude the 2 Christian families through a social boycott.

Mohan Nishad is one of the 12 Christians who refused to deny his faith. He told ICC about the difficulties of living ostracized from the village, “We have to travel eight kilometers whenever we need to purchase basic things that our family needs. We are enduring difficult times now after imposing the social boycott on us. My wife could not go on with so much pain. She left us and the village on March 10th and went to an unknown place. We don’t know where she is. We have searched for her and failed to trace her so far.”

Nishad accepted Jesus 6 years ago and was excommunicated from his caste at the time of embracing Jesus. Now he is a pariah in his village. He told ICC, “I am not going to leave Jesus and convert back to the Hindu religion. Even if I had to give up my life, I will, but I will not deny Jesus.”