“To terrorise Christians”: A pastor shot dead by unknown gunmen in Eastern India

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Christians in India

A pastor killed in Jharkhand, amid rising anti-Christian violence in India.

A protestant pastor Chamu Hasda Purty, from the Independent Pentecostal Church, was shot dead in his own house in Khunti district, Jharkhand,. It has been reported that a group of assailants stormed into his house and gunned him down.

In this regard, Subhash Kongari- lawyer and district president of Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh of the national Christian forum said, “The motive is to terrorise Christians. Every year we witness an average of two murders in the area and several other forms of violence. They are all part of an agenda to terrorise people so that they disassociate with Christianity.”

Also read: A Christian Head Master in Kasur Pakistan, beaten and tortured by Muslim teachers because of his faith

Recent past months have witnessed a rise in anti-Christian violence in India. It has been alleged that ever since Bhartiya Janta Party BJP has come into rule anit-Christian violence has increased. BJP is the ruling party in Jharkhand and as a consequence, the Hindu radicals have an upper hand in the state. According to the local police, the motive of the attackers is still not clear nonetheless, such attacks are occurring on the trot.

There are at least 1.4 million Christians in Jharkhand. Majority of these Christians is on the breadline. These Christians are converts from the untouchable castes from Hinduism. Jharkhand however, has double the percentage of Christians as compared to entire country.

On the other hand, the local media has previously reported more than a few cases in point where churches were deliberately damaged and Christians were targeted. Christians were beaten or threatened if they did not forsake their Christian faith.

A recent report by the US State Department on religious freedom 2014 states, “in India people are killed and arrested for religious reasons, there are riots and forced conversions, and the police are not able to respond effectively to violence”

Mostly, Hindu groups have accused Christian missionaries of enticing poor Hindu villagers to embrace Christianity. They allege that Christian missionaries offer money, material goods to these poor Hindus to make them convert to Christianity. These radical Hindus are demanding the Indian government to enforce anti-conversion laws in the country according to which an imprisonment of ten years will be awarded to the Christian evangelists if they try to convert people.