Modesty of a Christian Woman Outraged, Jharkhand.
Christians including women attacked and assaulted by religious goons in a ‘Ho’ village in Jharkhand.
The Ho people are an ethnic group of India. They are an Adivasi people group concentrated in the state of Jharkhand and Odisha, where they constitute around 10.5% of the Scheduled tribes. Most of the population inhabit forests areas of Jharkhand and Bihar.
*Pastor Ravi lives around 35kms away from a little ‘Ho’ village in the Indian State of Jharkhand. He works along with another Pastor amongst the Ho people. There are 35 Christian families in that village amounting to over 100 Christians including children. Earlier on, one of the Christians had donated his land to the Church. Before the nationwide lockdown was imposed, the construction of the Church building had started and the foundation with the pillars was laid. Work had to be postponed until the lockdown was eased.
The village Munda (village headman) who is not a Christian, never supported the Christians and was not in favor of the Church building construction. So, on the 4th of May, he sent a notice to summon the local Pastor and the other Christians for a meeting on the 10th of May at 7am in the morning. When the day arrived, around 25 Christians promptly reached the meeting place. They waited for a long time but none of the men who are a part of the village committee came. After almost 2 hours of waiting, the Christians left. At around 10am, the village committee began to gather and had a meeting amongst themselves with a few other religious fanatics until 2pm in the afternoon. Soon after, the group, who was heavily under the influence of alcohol, marched angrily to the construction site of the Church building and began vandalizing the place. They demolished the pillars and broke the foundation.
They then headed towards where the Christians live. They forcefully entered their homes during the afternoon hours, completely drunk and mercilessly beat the Christians. 3 women were among the Christians who were attacked. The fanatics even tore the clothes of a woman who they assaulted, showing no remorse for their behavior. 2 Christian homes were attacked that afternoon.
The police were soon informed about the attack and rushed to the village. After bringing the situation under control, the police who appeared to be biased towards the local religious fanatics told the Christians to stop all Christian activities. They even encouraged the villagers to ‘if you see any Christian who does not belong to this village, tie him up!’ The Police then asked both parties to come the next day to the Police Station so that they could come to a compromise.
On the 11th of May, the Christians promptly reached the Police Station, but once again, the religious fanatics did not appear. When the Christians tried to communicate with the Police, they behaved rudely with them. The Police then began asking questions like, ‘why did you forsake your earlier religion? Aren’t you forcefully converting people?’ One of the women who was beaten up, an elderly widow, then approached the head Inspector of the Police Station. She calmly explained and reasoned out the whole ordeal with him, after which he began to be more favorable towards the Christians. The inspector then asked them to write an application regarding the attack and assured them that he would look into the matter.
Let’s pray for the safety of the Christian Ho people. Pray for the Christians who were beaten up, that they may recover well. Also let’s pray for the village committee and the religious fanatics. Pray that they would stop harassing the Christians and themselves be touched and transformed by the power of God.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12. Human Beings were not created to live alone. They were created for communities and relationships. People are most vulnerable when they are left alone. But when we stand together, our strength increases. For a Christian, this is true both spiritually and physically. Together, we can brave the storms of hardships and persecution. Do you know anyone who could use a word of encouragement from you? Let’s pray that the Lord brings people to our minds.
From January 2016 to March 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 1961 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India. In the 1st Quarter of 2020, we recorded 187 cases.
Between 1st Quarter of 2016 to 1st Quarter of 2020, there has been a rise of 128.04 % of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 1st Quarter of 2016, we have recorded 82 cases, in 2017 – 134, 2018 – 117, 2019 – 130 and in 2020 we recorded 187 cases of Christian Persecution.
In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
In 2019 we have recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
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