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02/07/2023 India (International Christian Concern) – Ten Christian families in Bara Chomri village in Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh were denied government incentives by the village administration due to their faith affiliation. Ten Christian families were summoned on 26th January 2023 at the village gathering in Bara Chomri, where the villagers influenced by the radical Hindu nationalists pressured the Christians to give up their Christian faith or be denied provisions like rice, dal, and oil that the government otherwise provides for the poor.

According to local sources, these ten Christian families embraced the Christian faith four years ago have since been reeling under extreme harassment and physical abuse by the radical Hindu nationalists. However, the ten Christian families stand strong in spite of losing needed provisions. The local pastor was denied entry to Bara Chomri village to conduct worship and was taken by the police for interrogation on conversion charges. “The harassment continues to increase against Christians in Bara Chomri village,” The local pastor recently told ICC. “However, we Christians did not worry. We don’t need incentives. Ready to pay any cost and lay down our lives.”

This pastor was visiting Bara Chomri village, and used to conduct worship service regularly to those Christians in the village. About eight months ago, the Christians were attacked by the radical Hindu nationalists along with the pastor during the worship service. Later the police took the pastor into custody and interrogated him on false conversion charges. Police later released him with the warning not to enter into the village again.

Last week, leaders of right-wing organizations threatened the Christians with dire consequences, (i.e. such losing their rights as citizens) if they don’t deny the Christian faith. The Christians in Bara Chomri village are going through intense struggle and discrimination daily. Madhya Pradesh is one of the eleven Indian states that passed the anti-conversion law, and the radical Hindu nationalists continue to misuse the anti-conversion law to harass and intimidate Christian minorities.