By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The troubles began February 10 when police in Jharkhand state’s Palamu District accused Mantu Devi, the mother of children ages 7, 3, and 2, of disobeying the family elders, Christians said. She was also “disrespecting” religious sentiments in the area’s Chapi village, police reportedly said.
An officer told her that her relatives had threatened to behead her and that her “father-in-law should have beaten” her “to death.” She and her husband made clear, however, that they would not give up her Christian faith “at any cost,” reported rights monitor Morning Star News.
Homelessness came after Devi’s father-in-law, Jageshwar Oraon, became enraged at her objection to him sprinkling cattle’s blood throughout her house as part of a tribal religious ritual, she said.
Also, while her husband was away to work as a daily wage earner in southern India, her father-in-law and others reportedly forced her children to participate in witchcraft and worship of nature.
After objecting to these practices, Devi and her children have been living in a doorless shed in the woods, Christians said. Villagers allegedly barred them from getting water from the community well.
An official of rights group Alliance Defending Freedom India visited the family on March 6 and assured them of legal assistance, she said. It comes amid broader concerns about emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country. Critics Day attacks against Christians increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014.
India ranked 10th on Christian advocacy group Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
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