Christians forced to deny Christ, Karnataka
Around 30 Christians have been inhabitants of a village called Dandrithanda. It is situated in Harapanahalli, a district of the Indian state of Karnataka.
In the years gone by, the villagers have lived in peace together. They would gather every Sunday and attend the ‘Pavitra Mandir Church'(Holy Temple). Only recently, a group of religious fanatics along with some hindu spiritual leaders began to instigate fear amongst the christian villagers. The clueless Christains were summoned to a public gathering and ‘Pooja’ (Hindu act of idol worship)by the village administration. Once there, they were asked to deny Jesus Christ before the populace of the village.
That was not all, the fanatics began forcing the Christians to participate in the ongoing ‘Pooja’ and threatened them saying, “you cannot continue to live as a Christian in this village any more, if you do, we will cut off your water supply and electricity connection!”
Ravi Nayak, one of the Christian villagers who had a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ 3 years ago, spoke to Persecution Relief regarding the incident. “I told them that I will not attend the pooja and I refused to put a tikka (red mark made during hindu pooja)on my forehead.” exclaimed Ravi. Along with him,15 other Christians stood firm for their faith in Jesus Christ. “I told them, even if you kill me, I will not forsake Christ!” said Ravi boldly.
Unfortunately, not all the believers were as passionate as Ravi. More than 20 Christians succumbed to the immense pressure that was generated by the fanatics. They eventually participated in the pooja and agreed to return to Hinduism.
After a while, a few of the believers went to the Harapanahalli Police Station and informed the Police about what had happened.
On behalf of Persecution Relief, Pastor Neil Armstrong rushed to the Police station to help and support the dejected Christians. Finally, the Police and the religious fanatics arrived at a compromise. The Police warned the fanatics not to harass any Christians, keeping in mind the constitutional right to religious freedom.
Most of us reading this story have the liberty of praying and worshipping Jesus Christ in safe and comfortable places. Do we take this freedom for granted? Or is our faith just a passive display of our belief in Jesus Christ? Let this story be our wake up call. We have a choice to live our lives as usual or make a conscious effort to live passionately for Christ.
We urge you to stand with us and the persecuted church in which ever way the Holy Spirit leads you and continue to uphold the persecuted and persecutors in your prayers.
Persecution Relief has recorded 330 incidents of hate crime against Christians in 2016, 440 incidents in 2017, 477 incidents in 2018 and till September 2019 we have recorded 349 incidents of Christian Persecution against Christians in India.
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