Ex-communicated for their faith in Jesus Christ, Karnataka
Pr Jyothi Kumar has been a follower of Jesus Christ since the past 20 years. Living in the village Dasarahalli Thanda, a small hamlet in Hadagalli Taluk, Bellary District of Karnataka, he ministers in a small Church, “JeevaDhara Prarthana Mandir”, where around 100 members gather every Sunday.
Most of the Christian families, belong to the Banjara (Lambani) tribe which comes under the SC (Scheduled Caste) category. Pastor added that while most of the Christians had not converted to Christian religion, because of their faith and interest in the Christian religion, they have been worshipping Christ for the last 22 years in thevillage. Earlier, all peoples of all faiths co-existed peacefully. However, it is only in the last 2 months, that the hostility has begun.
Recently, the village youths have created a WhatsApp group with a intention to maligning the name of Jesus Christ. They send all sorts of vulgar messages about Jesus Christ and the Pastor family, harassing and intimidating them. Because of these incidents, there has be a simmering tension building up against the minority community. Opinions, rumours, falsehood and perceived wrong doings of the Christians are being actively propagated.
On 10th of October, the Village Heads and elders of the village, called for a meeting with the Pastor and the Christians in the village. They were categorically asked to stop following Jesus Christ and the worship service, failing which further course of action would be decided.
When Pastor declined that he will not give up his faith or stop worshipping Jesus Christ, the entire village, collectively decided to ex-communicate and boycott Pastor’s family and the rest of the Christians.
The Christians are now officially ostracized – – in an unwritten norm.
While the Christian families reported the matter to the Police – who did not intervene, the role of the police reveals an inherent bias against the minorities.
Pastor Jyothi and a few elders, then met with Mr. Raghavendra, the Tehsildar of the Taluk, has assured that he will visit the village and speak to the Village Headman and the villagers, about the law of the land.
The fundamental rights of the Christians of the village, to choose and practice their own faith, as enshrined in our Constitution, has been blatantly violated.
In spite of this atmosphere of terror and animosity, theChristians still repose complete faith in Jesus Christ.
Church, pray that the villagers will be able to live peacefully with their faith and dignity in the same village.
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