31 July 2017

Christians expelled from village in India by mob of 2,000 people

Fifteen Christians have been expelled from their village in India because of their faith by a mob of 2,000 people from their village and nearby villages.

The group had been threatened several times before and told that if they would not renounce their Christian faith they would face dire consequences. All of them were beaten, and one 22-year-old girl was beaten until she became unconscious. The mob taunted the Christians saying, “If your Jesus is alive ask him to heal her right now.” The girl eventually regained consciousness and all of them fled from the village.

All of the expelled Christians are now staying in a church in another village.

Some of the expelled believers are shown in the photo below:

India

There has been a sharp rise in attacks against Christians in India because of their faith over the last few years. In 2015 Open Doors partners recorded 350 such attacks, in 2016 they recorded 800; hundreds of attacks have been recorded so far this year.

Despite being the world’s largest democracy, with a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion and belief, extremism is thriving in India. The Indian government is led by the Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and turns a blind eye to attacks on minorities.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is a militant Hindu nationalist group linked with the BJP. Rajeshwar Singh, one of the leaders of this group, has stated on national media that the RSS will make India free of Christians and Muslims by 31 December 2021.

India is number 15 on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List. Through local partners, Open Doors is supporting the church in India with emergency aid, advocacy support, holistic training, livelihood and community development, adult literacy programmes, and Bible distribution.

- ENDS -

NOTE TO EDITORS:

For more information call the Open Doors press office on 01993 777377, 01993 777346 or 07484 000 441, or email Tania at taniac@opendoorsuk.org or Beth at bethf@opendoorsuk.org

Information on Open Doors - www.opendoorsuk.org

Open Doors UK & Ireland is part of Open Doors International, a global NGO network which has supported and strengthened persecuted Christians in over 60 countries for over 60 years. Last year it raised approximately $70 million to provide practical support to persecuted Christians such as food, medicines, trauma care, legal assistance, safe houses and schools, as well as spiritual support through Christian literature, training and resources. Open Doors UK & Ireland raised over £11 million.

Every year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List - a ranking of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. This is produced using detailed information provided by Open Doors co-workers in more than 60 countries, as well as independent experts. Data is gathered on five spheres of life - private, family, community, national and church life - plus a sixth sphere measuring the degree of violence impacting Christians. Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system. Open Doors' research methods and results have been independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom. The 2017 World Watch List accounts for the 12 months ending 31 October 2016.