Twelve Christian families in eastern India have been faced with an ultimatum by village leaders. They can ‘reconvert’ to the Sarna tribal religion or they can be forever banished from Mahuatoli village, located in the Gumla District of India’s Jharkhand state.
The trouble started last month when, on 14 June, a mob attacked the 12 Christian families and threatened them with banishment. Twenty villagers broke into the home of Jogiya Munda, dragged him and his mother before an idol and forced the Christians to participate in a ‘reconversion ritual’. Another two Christian families were also forced to undergo the same ritual.
In response, most of the Christian families fled Mahuatoli village. However, two of the families forced to ‘reconvert’ decided to stay in the village.
Pastor Boyen Munda, remarked on the significant increase in violence, “Threats have always been there in this area in Gumla District, but it has never escalated to this point that the Sarna extremists vowed to take lives.”
In addition to the forced ‘reconversion rituals’ and threats of banishment, the remaining Christian families of Mahuatoli have also been refused water supplies for farming and have had the electricity to their homes disconnected.
Instances of anti-Christian violence and social boycotts, as seen in Mahuatoli village, continue to be reported across India. Many blame the increase in religious intolerance on the free hand given to radical Hindu nationalist groups operating across India by the current BJP-led government.
Sources: Morning Star News, International Christian Concern
- Ask the Lord to strengthen the Christian community in Mahuatoli and other areas where there has been an escalation of threats and violence.
- Commit to the Lord all those who have been directly affected. Pray for the Lord’s restoration, leading and provision.
- Ask the Lord to pour out his Holy Spirit on the area and bring about great spiritual change.
Post your prayer in the comments below.