India: Hindu extremists threaten to burn pastor and his family alive unless they renounce Christ

Thursday, September 23, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A pastor and his family were forced to leave their home in India’s Bihar state this summer, after radical Hindu nationalists threatened to burn them alive if they did not renounce their faith in Christ, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Persecution against Christians in India has greatly intensified since the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014.

Pastor Ramsevak and his family were at home in Bajithpur village in the Gaya district on June 12, when five Hindus arrived and demanded the Christians participate in a Hindu ceremony, ICC said. When the family refused, they were told they had one day to renounce their faith, leave the village, or be burned alive.

Pastor Ramsevak and his family shut themselves at home and spent a day in prayer, ICC said. On June 14, the family left their village, fearing they would be killed if they stayed on for even a few more hours. Due to the severe nature of the threats made against them, the family is unlikely to ever be able to return home.

“Hindu extremists believe that all Indians should be Hindus, and that the country should be rid of Christianity and Islam,” Open Doors says in its statement. “They use extensive violence to achieve this goal, particularly targeting Christians from a Hindu background. These believers are often physically attacked and sometimes killed, as well as being under constant pressure from their family and community to return to Hinduism.”

India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. In a statement on its website, Open Doors warns that Hindu nationalism poses a grave threat to Christians in India.