I thought the police are there to protect and serve justice, but the police spoke exactly what the religious fanatics have been telling us.
Six Christian families in India have received an ultimatum from the Latehar District Police of Jharkhand state to either renounce their Christian faith or prepare to flee from the village.
The police issued the ultimatum after the six Christian families went to the police station in response to a brutal attack by radical Hindu nationalists on July 5.
Joginder Bhuya, a Christian, told persecution watchdog International Christian Concern that he reported the attack to the Latehar District Police station of Jharkhand state on July 5. But instead of filing a report, officers gave Bhuya an ultimatum, saying they must either convert back to Hinduism or abandon their homes and leave the village.
The police have given the Christians a single month to respond to this demand.
“They tied our hands and legs with a rope,” Joginder Bhuya told ICC. The Christians were then ruthlessly beaten by fanatics, including women and children.
Earlier, Hindu village leaders had convened a meeting to discuss the fate of Christian villagers who had refused to renounce their Christian faith. There, it was decided that the Christians would be chased out of their homes and the village if they didn’t abandon their Christian faith and “re-convert” to Hinduism. When the Christians refused to accept Hinduism, they were attacked.
“All the men’s hands and legs were tied with the rope,” Joginder reported. “That way they might have thought that we cannot defend ourselves. They also misbehaved with our women and kicked them all over their body. They punched us on our faces and back. It was a very pathetic and helpless situation for us.”
Bhuya managed to escape and ran to the police station. There, he informed police about the grave situation of the Christians in the village. As Joginder was reporting the incident, the villagers also reached the police station.
“I thought the police are there to protect and serve justice, but the police spoke exactly what the religious fanatics have been telling us,” Joginder said. “It was disheartening that we had to come out of the police station with a heavy heart.”
Believers in India—number 10 on the 2020 World Watch List—are often shunned, unjustly arrested, attacked—even killed—because they choose to follow Jesus and not Hinduism or the local religion. Our Indian family needs the prayers of the global church to stand strong in the midst of persecution—and to remain a light for Christ in the world’s second-most populated country.