‘Our lives have become miserable’: The Indian christians ostracised for their faith

September 23, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Chhattisgarh, September 23, 2016: Christian families in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh have been ostracised by their village because they have refused to renounce their faith.

According to ucanews.com, the Gond tribal people of Barbattar village include 15 Christian families. Most of the 1,000 villagers practise their ancestral animist faith. However, the leader of the 60-strong Christian population, Mohan Netam, said their neighbours turned on them because “we refused to succumb to the village body’s pressure” to abandon the faith. He said their lives have “become miserable” after the village governing body “banned us from collecting firewood or grazing our animals in the forest”.

India’s tribal people are outside the Hindu caste system and themselves face discrimination from nationalist Hindus. Violence and other forms of discrimination against Christians is increasing in the country, according to the most recent report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

The commission said the situation had worsened under the rule of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which swept to power after a long period of Congress Party rule. USCIRF is now considering whether to designate India as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, for the high level of “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom” many Christians and others face.

– christian today

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