By Matters India Reporter
Kondagaon, Nov 24, 2022: Members of eight tribal families who practice Christian faith in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh are now living in fear after people of their community thrashed them for not giving up their new faith.
“We were beaten up on November 22 night with stick and slippers after forcing into our houses,” said one of the villagers who follow the Christian faith, but is not converted to Christianity.
The sudden attack led to injuries to around 15 people, including women and children. However, only two women and a man are serous and they now w undergo treatment in a government hospital in Kondagaon district.
The villager, who did not want to be named, told Matters India, “We are fearing for our lives as the attackers had threatened to burn our houses if we continued with our faith in Lord Jesus.”
He, however, insisted, “We will not give up our faith,” adding, “after coming to this faith we got peace in our lives.”
The villager also accused the police of taking the side of their assaulters rather than helping them.
The Police reached the village on the same night of the attack, but did not initiate action against the attackers. Instead, they had friendly talk with them and left the spot.
Meanwhile Omkar Diwan, the station house officer (SHO) of Bade Dongar police station under which the violent attack took place denied the allegation that the police did not act upon the Christians’ complaints.
“We have registered a case and action will be taken against those behind the crime,” he told Matters India.
The official also termed the attack as a family dispute over the victims’ decision to embrace Christian faith ignoring the warnings of the assaulters who also belong to same extended family.
Bhaisabod where the attack took place has eight tribal families who follow Christian faith. They have refused to participate in their traditional practices.
Those practicing Christianity insist that they have not converted to Christianity but found some solace in the new faith and wish to continue with it and no one should object to it as they do not interfere with others’ faith.
Meanwhile Pastor Moses Logan, president of the Chhattisgarh State Christian Welfare Society, condemned the attack and demanded action against those behind it.
“It is unfortunate that the police did not take action against those who attacked them,” he told Matters India on November 23.
The Christian leader urged the top officials in the district to initiate action against the police officials who failed to discharge their duty.
SHO Diwan, however, insisted that he visited the village twice and tried to patch up with them as they belong to the same extended family.
Christians in Chhattisgarh allege that they face persecution from right wing Hindu groups and now from within the tribal community as well making their life miserable.
Christians make up a tiny 1.92 percent of the state’s 23 million people and nationally 2.3 percent of the 1.3 billion people.