Seven Christian families displaced after refusing to renounce their faith in India
International Christian Concern reports that seven Christian families from northeast India were displaced from their village in late January after refusing to recant their Christian faith. The displacement was the culmination of months of tensions that had been escalating after the Christian families constructed a small building to conduct worship services in the village.
After constructing the worship centre, villagers accused the Christians of abandoning the village’s traditional faith and demanded the families renounce their Christian faith. As punishment, the seven families were disqualified from receiving government benefits set aside for local villagers and other community resources.
On the 12th of December 2020, the seven Christian families were called to a village meeting where they were told they must renounce their Christian faith. When the Christians refused, they were beaten and given one month to renounce their faith or be banished from the village.
On the 21st of January this year, the seven families were again summoned to a village meeting. At this meeting, villagers brutally assaulted them. Four people were seriously injured as a result of this attack.
Following the assault, the families left Padmpur village and have taken shelter in a nearby village. In this new village, they have received shelter from other Christians. A local pastor reported the assault to the Malkangiri Police Station. As a result, police arrested six individuals involved in the attack.
However, these Christian families remain displaced. Local villagers will not allow the seven Christian families to return until they drop the charges that have been brought against the six individuals involved in the January 25th assault.