Christians boycotted and discriminated for their faith in Jesus Christ, Maharashtra
Village head taking Rs 5000 as penalty for visiting Madhu family
The age-old practice of boycott and discrimination is still being propagated in the villages of Maharashtra. This shocking incident was reported from Khaprikene village in Nagpur District of Maharashtra State.
Things had been peaceful for all these years but, in the recent past, Christians in this village have been facing a lot of harassment and intimidation from the local villagers.
Bro. Madhu Solanki and family had surrendered their lives,to follow Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, for the past 18 months.
However, the entire family have been boycotted and discriminated by the Village Head and the villagers; deprived Government subsidies where the poor villagers are provided food rations, medicines; banished from any event held at the village; deprived of water from the public village well; deprived of water and fodder for their cattle, among other things.
Recently, Baban Sodhi, Madhu’s Uncle (brother of Madhu’s mother), visited their home. Once the villagers learned of his visit, he was accosted, detained and taken to the Village Head. The Village headman and members of the community, who decided to take the law into their own hands and punish Baban Sodhi for visiting the “impure” Christians. His crime – visiting his nephew, drinking tea and water from this “boycotted family” home. He was compelled to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000/-.
The Christians in the village were terrorized and forced to handover their personal Bibles. A huge pile of Holy Bibles, were gathered and piled up on the floor, without any respect for the sanctity of the Holy book, and burned to ashes.
Many incidents have also been reported in Kondasawari, Jamgad, Akoli, Khapri, Wahi Soangi satha, Waranga villages in Nagpur District. Most of the Christians in these villages, are from the Gosaj Samaj, who just like Bro. Madhu, travel from village to village, selling herbal medicines.
More than 200 Christians were forcibly converted through“Ghar Wapsi”, back to their former religion in the villages of Nagpur. Most of these families are first generation Christians and have no other extended family except the brethren of the Church.
For generations in this remote village, for local residents, the law of the village council, known as “panchayat” decides. These councils of male elders have dominated life in many villages, mostly across northern India, exerting social control through edicts
The Village Panchayat Head, has been extremely prejudiced and publicly mocked and insulted Bro. Madhu and his Christian faith. He warned that if Madhu and his family did not return to their former religion, he would make it his goal to drive out every Christian from their village.
Christians continue to live in fear of practicing their faith. Violence against Christians has been on the rise over the last few years, with assailants growing more defiant and daring. Religious fanatics, instigate local villagers and are taking Law and Order into their own hands. They misbehave and molest the women of the community. Fear mongering is one of the tactics employed by these fundamentalists tried to precipitate panic and distress among the believers.
Several attempts to highlight the situation to the Police Officials, have only fallen on deaf ears.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Bro. Madhu confidently confessed that he would never recant his faith in Jesus Christ.
“My family along with several Christian families, are demoralized in their spirit and discouraged at what is transpiring at the village”.
“Life has become so miserable and aggressive. My 2 children, studying in classes 7 & 8, have not gone to school because of this intense persecution”.
“However, in spite of this hostile and antagonistic environment, as for me and my family, we will never ever forsake Jesus Christ, even if we have to lay down our lives”.
Khaprikene village, falls under the jurisdiction of Katol Police Station, in Nagpur District, Maharashtra.
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it”. – 1 Corinthians 12:26
In the body of Christ, someone’s pain must ignite our compassion and move us toward action. We might pray, offer a word of encouragement, or do whatever it takes to aid the healing process. That’s how the body works together.
If you are inspired by the Holy Spirit to support this family, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp on +91 9993200020.
In 2018, Persecution Relief has recorded 447 incidents of hate-crimes, with 16 cases reported from Maharashtra, the 8th most hostile among the 29 states.
In the first six months of 2019, we have recorded 180 incidents of hate crimes against Christians, with 16incidents from Maharashtra alone.
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