Christian families in Karnataka suffer social boycott

Published 10 December 2019  |  
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A mob of Hindus radicals in Bannimardatti village, Karnataka, attacked 25 Christian families while they were preparing a small area of ground to construct a simple church on December 4. The radicals were led by local BJP leader Bhairesh.

Firstly, the radicals targeted pastor Raja Bhovi, the head pastor of His Grace Church in Bannimardatti, and accused him of carrying out forcible conversions in the village.

"They abused me with foul language. Then they went to each of the Christian homes in the village and threatened them. They threatened that the Christians would lose their right to live in the village," pastor Bhovi told International Christian Concern (ICC).

When the matter was brought to local police's attention, the officials told pastor Bhovi that his ministry was creating a commotion on communal lines and that he can no longer enter the village.

"The police even went to the extent of accusing me and my church members of being involved in unlawful activities," the Christian leader told ICC. "They told us that we could end up in jail if I persisted in leading prayers in the village."

According to pastor Bhovi, this is the only Christian congregation left in the entire region and the Hindu radicals want to shut it down.

The radicals even cut off the water supplies for the Christian families for almost a week when they refused to recant their faith. They were not even allowed to work in the village.

Pastor Bhovi is worried about the survival of the community in the village.

Across the country, radical Hindus often use social boycotts and pressurize Christians to convert to Hinduism. The boycotts excludes Christian families from having basic necessities like water and electricity and subject them to suffering.

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