Christians in India Forced to Worship Christ in Secret Amid Persecution from Hindu Radicals

School children listen to a speech by a Christian leader during a protest rally in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata August 29, 2008.

Christian families in India who were forced to stop attending church after Hindu radicals threatened to beat and kill them have vowed to continue worshiping Christ in secret.

Pastor Singh, who leads a congregation in India’s Madhya Pradesh State, told International Christian Concern that 15 families have stopped going to his church in recent months after facing persecution at the hands of Hindu radicals.

“The reason for this drop in the attendance is the threats from Hindu radicals,” Pastor Singh told the nonprofit persecution watchdog. “The radicals say they will beat and kill my church members if they continue to attend the services.”

“Prior to May this year, around 200 people used to worship regularly in my church,” he continued. “But now only 50 to 60 people attend my church on Sunday. They are under tremendous pressure from Hindu radicals.”

Shankar Damor, a 37-year-old from Kardubadi village near Jhabua, told ICC his family stopped attending church because they were under serious threat of physical attack.

“In a meeting last May in the village of Kardubadi, the Christians were told that we should not attend any church and should not even pray in our homes,” Shankar explained. “When we complained to the village diktat, the entire village stopped associating with us. No one attended our weddings and we were totally cut off from the people of the village.”

“In that same month, when my family was praying in our house, someone from the village called the police and I was taken to the police station on false charges of forced conversions,” Shankar said. “The police beat me brutally and harassed me while in custody.”

Despite such persecution, Shankar said his family will continue to worship Christ — in secret.

“We are on shaky ground as a family,” he said. “However, we might stop attending the church, but we will not leave Jesus.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett