Hindu nationalists destroyed church without consequence in India
On the 16th of May, hundred Hindu villagers reunited to demolish a Christian church. Police have not filed criminal charges or arrested the attackers
The families of Bodaguda village, Koraput, experienced yet another traumatic and discriminative showdown with Hindu nationalists. Last July, Hindu nationalists broke into their homes and destroyed property to warn them to leave or be killed.
One year later, the Christian villagers sold everything they had to start constructing a church building in February 2021. Work went slowly, and before the contractors could fully complete it, the size of the building got the attention of local Hindu villagers.
On May 16, around 100 Hindu villagers from surrounding communities came late to demolish the church. “Should anyone come near this place, we will bury them alive,” the village leader told Deba Bhoi, manager of the church project.
The church pastor registered a First Information Report (FIR) with police, causing the inspector to call both Hindu and Christian villagers together to find a solution. Hindu villagers strongly disagreed with having a church building near the village. “They can build the church two km away from the village,” they said. The Christian villagers refused this proposal. It was a clear violation of their freedom to worship on their legal property.
Police have not filed criminal charges or arrested the attackers, allowing the nationalist Hindu villagers to get away with religious discrimination.