by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The intensifying persecution against Christians in India has shown no sign of abating and, during the Easter holidays, Hindu extremists in Odisha and Chhattisgarh states violently attacked believers, destroyed homes and property, and harassed grieving relatives, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
On Easter Sunday, a mob of 100 radical Hindu nationalists brutally assaulted three Christian families, including women and children, in Markapalli village in Odisha. The mob beat the families up with sticks and ransacked their homes, destroying food that had been stored to feed the families for a year.
“These Christians are enduring continued hostility from the radical Hindus,” the local Pastor told ICC. “Sometimes the Christians were denied electricity, other times they were denied rations (subsidized food grains) and other times water, work, etc… but they persisted in faith, despite what they have gone through.”
Meanwhile, in Chhattisgarh, the relatives of a Christian man who had died on Holy Saturday were prevented from burying their loved one for three days because Hindu extremists refused to allow a burial on local land. The family had to take the dead man’s body for burial 25 kilometers away, ICC said.
“The family went through torture and humiliation for three days,” a local Christian who requested anonymity told ICC, “the Christians in the village face social boycott for practicing Christian faith. They are really tested, and they are treated as less than human.”
India ranks 10th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted: believers have come under “dramatically” increased persecution since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.