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World News

Bodies of Christian converts exhumed in India

by Sophie Drew

A Christian woman in India has had her body exhumed for converting away from the local tribal religion. 

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Janki Sori was buried on land owned by her family in the Chhattisgarh state, but tribal leaders still ordered the exhumation against the wishes of her loved ones. 

They say only those that follow their animist faith can be buried in the area.

The Sarv Adivasi Samaj group say that they will continue to remove the bodies of those that once followed Christianity until their families convert back to the tribal religion.

Janki has now been buried in a nearby village.

A similar disagreement occurred last year, and another on November 10. All were subjected to post-mortems, but their families are unsure as to why the procedure had to take place. 

CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW expresses our heartfelt condolences to these bereaved families who have faced the injustice of having their loved ones exhumed against their wills, and while they are still in mourning. 

“We urge the authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these deeply disturbing acts, including any police officers who may be complicit. 

“A person’s right to change their religion or belief, as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which the government of India is party, must be upheld, and the authorities must take steps to promote understanding of the right to freedom of religion or belief and peaceful co-existence between members of different religion or belief groups in the communities concerned.”

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