On the 3rd of May 2020, a family living in a village in Jharkhand, India, was forced to go through Ghar Wapsi (a ceremony of reconversion to Hinduism). This family accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior 4 years ago and has been faithfully walking with the Lord ever since.
Persecution Relief was informed about the incident by *Pastor Manoj, who is the family’s Pastor and friend. He told us that a group of youth who used to regularly visit this family suddenly turned rogue and began to harass them. This group of young fanatics came to their home during the evening hours and began to mercilessly beat up the family while threatening them to forsake Christ. The group eventually organized a Ghar Wapsi ritual and forced the family to participate while threatening them with dire consequences.
Besides dealing with hunger and poverty due to the Nationwide lockdown, the petrified family also faced severe threats of boycott. They had no choice but to give into the demands of the religious fanatics. They all went through with Ghar Wapsi under tremendous fear and pressure from their persecutors, knowing that they had nowhere else to go. Around 15 other Christian families live in the same village were also helpless. After witnessing the plight of their fellow believers, they were gripped with fear and hid in their homes.
Persecution Relief was immediately alerted by *Pastor Manoj as soon as he learned about the attack. Wasting no time, Persecution Relief called up the Superintendent of Police and requested help after briefing him about the story. Within a short while, a team of police officials reached the village. The family that was forced to go through Ghar Wapsi boldly testified against the fanatics. They narrated their ordeal to the police. The fanatics were confronted about the attack and warned not to harass the Christians ever again. “Religion and faith, are one’s own personal choice, why should you decide what another should follow?” the Police instructed the religious fanatics.
Church, please continue praying for *Pastor Manoj and his Church, especially the 16 Christian families who are being persecuted for their faith. Such episodes often lead to fear and uncertainties amongst believers. Many Christians refuse to go for a worship service after they have experienced one attack. They are mostly illiterate and are unable to read the Bible, which leaves them helpless and vulnerable to the pressures of society. We must pray that the church of God would no longer be like infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14.
Persecution Relief reported a story which involved the same Christian families from this village. They were only threatened and harassed then. However, the persecution grew worse and resulted in the above event. Below is the story we posted on the 28thof April 2020.
Forced to Forsake Christ, Jharkhand.
16 Christian families are being forced to forsake Christianity with threats of Social boycott from local religious goons.
Making no distinction between color, religion, sex or culture, the Corona virus has been raging throughout the world, taking over 2,28,251 lives and still counting. At a time like this, when mutual understanding and cooperation plays a crucial role in sustaining society, reports of Religious Extremists groups attacking Christians are still coming to light!
*Pastor Manoj lives in a village which is located in the District of Palamo in Jharkhand, a north Indian State. Since 2007, he has been faithfully serving the Lord with Shalom Ministries and leading many people in his vicinity to Christ. The Church that he shepherds, recently constructed their own building in which they used to gather for prayer meetings. Many people from in and around his village experience peace and hope after attending these meetings and the Church has become a place where they find immense strength in the midst of their struggles in life.
*Pastor Manoj recently spoke to Persecution Relief regarding a grave issue that his Church members were facing. Around 16 families who are a part of the Church, live in a nearby village which is around 2kms away from where *Pastor Manoj and his family live. The village houses around 400 people out of which 100 belong to the 16 Christian families.
For the past couple of weeks, local religious goons have been visiting these families and threatening to beat them up if they do not forsake Jesus Christ. They also warned that they would attack the Church if they do not return to Hinduism. These goons, who form groups of 25 to 30 people, have also been spying on the Christians. Whenever they find them alone, they pull them aside and threaten them.
The fanatics have warned the Christians about facing dire consequences if they do not adhere to their demands. They threatened to refuse them water from the surrounding river, lake and wells, prevent them from farming and boycott them from all village activities. *Pastor Manoj currently finds himself in a helpless situation as the nationwide lockdown has restricted his ability and desire to reach out to his suffering Church. Persecution Relief has had the privilege of providing supplies and groceries to these 16 families. Do get in touch with us to find out how you could support them too.
In the 1st Quarter of 2020, 7 cases of Hate Crimes against Christians have been recorded in Jharkhand and a staggering 71 cases of ‘Threats and Harassment’ have been recorded across the country. People in the urban areas are unaware of what is going on the more rural places where life is more challenging and difficult, especially for Christians. However, these disappointments are replaced with God’s peace when they come together to Praise and Worship Jesus Christ and meditate on His Word. Even though these churches are unable to meet as usual, these families still pray and worship within their homes. Unfortunately, even private family prayers are targeted by religious goons and Christians are unable to freely practice their faith.
Church, lets pray that the 16 Christian families would find strength and courage during this time of persecution. Pray that they would exercise wisdom and react to this situation in a Christlike manner. Pray that God would grant *Pastor Manoj the wisdom to deal with this matter for His Glory alone. Most importantly for the religious goons who are blindly committing these crimes, that their hearts and eyes would be opened to the truth of the Gospel. That they may come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and surrender their lives to him.
‘I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.’ Psalms 3:6. This is the right time for the Church of God to prepare for the time ahead. Yes, persecution is going to be fierce! Both for Christians in Urban and Rural areas alike. God has given this precious time to us. How are we preparing ourselves? One of the best ways is to immerse ourselves in His word. Write it on the tablet of our hearts, imprint it on our minds, put it up in places of our homes where it is in full view, reminding every Christian household that we have no fear because God is by our side.
*Persecution Relief wishes to withhold personal information of victims of Christian Persecution keeping their best interest in mind. If you wish to acquire more information, please call us on our Toll-Free Number-1800-1234-461, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us on WhatsApp: 9993200020
From January 2016 to March 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 1961 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India. In the 1st Quarter of 2020, we recorded 187 cases.
Between 1st Quarter of 2016 to 1st Quarter of 2020, there has been a rise of 128.04 % of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In the 1st Quarter of 2016, we have recorded 82 cases, in 2017 – 134, 2018 – 117, 2019 – 130 and in 2020 we recorded 187 cases of Christian Persecution.
In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
In 2019 we have recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2020 Annual Report has given India its harshest rating since 2004.
The commission recommended that the State Department of USA designate India as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, because it “tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.” Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
Shibu Thomas is the Founder of Persecution Relief Email : email@example.com www.persecutionrelief.org