Harijan Christians being harassed, Odisha
Pastor Vairamuthu family
Jamdara is a little village in the Raighar Tehsil, belonging to the district of Nabarangapur in the state of Odisha, India. This village is home to a few Christian Harijan families.
Who are Harijans ??
Harijans are individuals who are at the bottom of or outside the Hindu caste system. They were traditionally sweepers, washers of clothes, leather workers etc.
Originally called untouchables or pariahs, they were given the name Harijans by the Indian political and religious leader Mahatma Gandhi, who worked for many years to improve their lives and uplift their community.
Persecution Relief recently spoke to Pastor C Vairamuthu, ministering with [ICGM] who has been leading and serving the local Church in the Harijan colony for the past 10 years. He told us that more than 10 families regularly come to attend the Sunday Worship service, but for the past few days the local Harijan leader, Narayanan has been harassing the Pastor and the belivers because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
In an attempt to intimidate the believers, the Harijan leader drafted a letter which states that the previously hindu families had been persuaded to convert to Christainity by means of alluring them with money. The Pastor and Believers have refused to sign this document.
He is now threatening to beat them up if they don’t sign this document. Furthermore, he is causing fear and unrest by alleging that the houses which were provided to the Harijans by the government will be taken back from them because they have changed their religion.
The troubled Pastor also went on to say that only two families were part of the previous Sunday meeting and that many families have left and are not attending the prayer and worship Church meetings out of fear of social boycott from the village.
Pastor C Vairamuthu is associated with ICGM and has been faithfully serving and leading the house Church for the past 10 years. Pastor Martin who is acquainted with Pastor C Vairamuthu, informed Persecution Relief about these incidents.
Church let us unite in Prayer for our believing brothers and sisters in Christ who are being tormented by the local
Leader. Let us also pray that Narayanan would have a change of heart.
Persecution Relief has recorded 330 incidents of hate crimes against Christians in 2016, 440 incidents in 2017, 477 incidents in 2018 and till August 2019, we have recorded 302 incidents of Christian Persecution against Christains in India.
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