Christians threatened to recant faith, “Ghar Wapsi”
Persecution Relief received a desperate call on our Toll Free number : 1800-1234-461 from Sis. Rani & Bro. Raja (names changed to protect their identity). She claimed that a menacing mob of religious fanatics were harassing and intimidating them, forcing them to recant their Christian faith and convert back to Hinduism.
The couple run a small business in the city. Originally, Hindus by birth, after a miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ, the entire family decided to become disciples of Christ.
On Thursday, 30th of May, a few fanatics came to the store looking for ‘Raja’. His brother who was manning the store in his absence, told them that his brother was out.
Assuming that brother was also a Christian, the menacing mob began shouting abuses, accusing and abusing him to come back to Hinduism. While the brother, a practicing Hindu defended himself, he mentioned that his brother and family were Christians.
They further threatened to kill his brother ‘Raja’, if he did not come back to his original faith.
While departing, they left with a parting threat that they plan to take away all Christians to a nearby temple, to perform “Ghar Wapsi”, to recant their faith and convert them back to Hinduism.
The fanatics visited the following day, threatening to burn down the house and build a temple in that site. They subjected the family to immense mental pressure, forcing them to agree perform a puja in their house, for purification.
Local Police also visited the store the following day, 31st of May, demanding that they give an undertaking that “they made a mistake becoming Christians and are to come back to Hinduism”.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, ‘Raja’ sounded deeply disturbed, confused and scared. He was not sure who could help him as he felt alone and helpless. However, one thing that he was certain was that, he and his family were resolute and steadfast in their faith in Jesus Christ.
“I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back for us”.
Church, please lift up fervent prayers for many such families who are terrified and afraid of the increasing violence and arbitrary laws that religious fanatics take into their own hands, to harass the minority community.
Pray that the Police and Administration will be unbiased and not be in collusion with the fanatics, but adhere to the edicts of the Constitution.
There have been increasing reports of “reconversion” ceremonies of non-Hindus to Hinduism conducted by hard-line Hindu nationalist groups. Several Christian and Muslim families have been “reconverted” to Hinduism as part of a so-called Ghar Wapsi (returning home) program.”
India’s Freedom of Religion Acts or “anti-conversion” laws are in force in eight out of twenty-nine states: Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand.
In 2018, Persecution Relief recorded more than 477 incidents of hate-crimes against Christians. 157 incidents were recorded in 2019, up to the month of April.
Madhya Pradesh recorded 24 incidents of hate-crime in 2018, and 7 incidents in the first 4 months of 2019.
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