South Asia

Jharkhand Christians face ‘social boycott’ for refusing to ‘reconvert’ to Hinduism

Four Christian families in Jharkhand, threatened with expulsion from their village, finally received a verdict that instead of being forced from their homes they will face a ‘social boycott’.

The four Christian families are the only ones in the entire village of Ganaloya of Jharkhand who were summoned to the village meeting last month and were ordered to return to the Hindu faith else face expulsion from their home village for life time.

They were given time till 27 April to respond to the call of the villagers.

Extreme left is Pyari Mundain, third from left is Sukhu Lora, Karma Pahan and Lepa Munda

The villagers after the intervention of the police personnel’s decided to impose a ‘social boycott for lifetime’ instead.

Speaking to Global Christian News, Sunil Kumar Mundu the Secretary of the Pentecostal Church of God said that, “The police inspector had come to the village and spoke to the villagers making them understand. As a result, on 27 April, the villagers did not expel the Christian families from the village, instead have boycotted them.”

Nobody in the village is supposed to associate with these Christian families in any way. Which includes, inviting them for marriages, private or community/village ceremonies, visits during births/deaths or during trouble. No business dealing of any kind.

“Thankfully these Christians have their own well for water, otherwise they would get into great trouble as the villagers will not allow them to fetch water from the common village well,” said Mundu.

Mundu’s surprising response is to welcome the news of the boycott: “We are very happy with the decision of social boycott, at least the Christians are not expelled from the village, They get to live in their own homes. We are used to the social boycotts, and can live with it.”

The Christians will not be allowed to buy anything from the village shops, but Mundu says this is ‘okay’ because the town is only five or six kilometres from the village.

In an earlier interview, Mundu told Global Christian News of the bravery of the Christian community: “These families have taken a firm stand, of not returning back to their previous faith in spite of threats from the villagers.”

The head of the four families are Karmu Pahan, Sukhu Lora, Lepa Munda, Pyari Mundain (Woman). These families had converted from the Sarna (tribe) faith after each family had a history of prolonged illness.

Along with 30 to 40 Christians from the area, Mundu had approached the local police on 24 April and were told that ‘peace talks’ would be led by the police.

The Christians had decided, not to name the villagers who had had led opposition to the families as this would cause more trouble for the Christian community.

“We don’t want to file a formal report against the villagers, as they are in huge majority. The police will arrest the leaders of the village and then the entire village will pressurize the four families and persecute them in every possible way. We do not intend to develop enmity. We have requested the police in-charge to intervene and make the villagers understand our ‘freedom of choice’ given by our constitution,” said Mundu.