In yet another horrific case of Christian persecution, a Christian family was mercilessly beaten up by a mob of raging religious fanatics in the Indian state of Jharkhand. The mob of over 40 fanatics led by the village headman not only assaulted the family but savagely vandalized their home and belongings, falsely accusing the family of converting villagers to Christianity.
“3 brothers and their families who live together were attacked at around 7:30 pm at a village in Jharkhand. 15 people including women and 3 children fell victim to this assault.” said *Pastor Rupesh.
Speaking to Persecution Relief about the incident, the Pastor said that the families had all gathered together to pray. The village Headman gathered a large mob, surrounded the home and then broke in. “They broke the roof, threw out utensils, broke earthen vessels, destroyed the house fans, damaged their gate, cycles and bikes, ruined the gas stove and even took away their cell phones.”
“The attack went on till midnight. The police were also informed about the attack. They came and arrested some of the goons, however the village head man intervened and forced the police to release them and leave” said the Pastor
Persecution Relief also spoke to *Ashish, who serves the local Christian Church which the family is a part of. “The village head man is a goon. He threatened the family against making any complaint to the police. After creating havoc, he warned them not to conduct any more Christian activities in the village and then left after making the family sign some document to the same effect” he said.
“The entire family is hurt and wounded. It is a sorry sight.” Said the Pastor who recently visited the desperate family. “One of the men suffered injuries to his head and another one received stitches to his eye due to severe bleeding” he exclaimed.
“The family is currently living around 30kms away. They couldn’t live in the same house as the vandals have ruined it.” Said Pastor Rupesh. He added that the family have been faithful Christians for over 15 years. “They are presently going through a major crisis without a home, belongings and basic amenities” he added.
Pastor Rupesh and his family have been leading the local church for many years. Persecution is not a new term to them. They have been attacked several times before. Religious fanatics have even entered their home a couple of times before and assaulted the family.
In 2019, Pastor Rupesh and his family were attacked by fanatics with rods while they were praying inside their home. The attack left his son with a broken leg while his aged mother was admitted to hospital, unconscious with a head injury.
Since January 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 27 cases of Christian Persecution in Jharkhand alone, of which two cases involve ‘religiously motivated murders.’
Between January to July 2020, Persecution Relief has documented 9 religiously motivated hate crimes that have led to death, of which 2 involve rape. From January 2016 to June 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 2067 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India of which 293 cases were recorded in the first half of 2020 alone.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, ‘Countries of Particular Concern’(CPC) in its 2020 report. The US State Department ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. 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 founder of Persecution Relief.