by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – More than 50 Christians from 13 families have recently been forced to leave their villages and escape into the jungle of India’s Odisha state by tribal animists enraged at the believers’ faith in Christ, Morning Star News reported Friday. India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List of countries that persecute Christians.
There are now 57 Christians hiding in the Odisha state jungle; all are from villages in the state’s Rayagada District. After receiving threats from tribal animists, five Christian families from Kotlanga village fled their homes on June 7, MSN said. These Christians joined six other Christian families hiding in the jungle, whom animists had driven from their homes in Sikarpai village on May 23. Two families from Chichinga village have also been forced to escape into the jungle, MSN reports.
The police have reportedly counseled the believers to renounce their faith in Christ in order to stop the aggression against them, MSN said.
In a statement to MSN, Nori Kanjaka of Sikarpai village said the Christians in hiding do not have adequate shelter, food, or water. “It is the rainy season now, and we fear the sickness that comes with rainfall, the poisonous insects, and the unhygienic conditions we are living in,” Kanjaka reported.
“After the villagers in the other villages heard of how we were chased from our village, they too have forced Christians living among them to leave the village, either by threats or by physically attacking them or by ill-treating them,” Kanjaka added. Area pastor Upajukta Singh specified to MSN that Christians from the villages of Chichinga, Siripai, Kona, and Tongapai in Rayagada District have also been harassed and ostracized by animists.
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