by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Hindu nationalists in Central India last month burned down the home of a Christian family that had been persecuted for years because of their faith, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Christians in India have come under increasingly intense persecution since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014; India now ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of countries where Christians are persecuted.
The Jhirawaliya village home of Lalu Toliya Wakhala and his family was burned down on November 28 by Hindu nationalists enraged at the family’s conversion to Christianity 15 years ago. The arson was carried out by a mob of 20-30 radical Hindu at the time when a worship service was taking place in the home. The terrorists demanded that the family, the pastor, and the attendant congregants renounce their faith in Christ.
According to ICC, the family lost all of their property in the fire. “We have lost everything,” Lalu told ICC. “There is nothing left, we became homeless, with no food to eat or clothing to wear. Even the cash we had saved and crops we had stored was completely burned.” The Wakhala family had been repeatedly harassed and threatened over the years, but have remained strong in the faith, ICC reports.
The Wakhala arson was just one recent example of ongoing and intensifying harassment and persecution of Christians in India. “Across India attacks on Christians and their places of worship continue to be reported in greater numbers and severity, ICC said in its report. “In Madhya Pradesh, the attacks on Christians dramatically increased earlier this year when the state government enacted a new anti-conversion law, considered by many to be the most stringent in India.”
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