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Christians forced from homes by extremists in India

Christian believers in Masiya Mahuwatoli village had their bibles burned and harrassed with threats of death and excommunication by Members of Hindu Jagran Manch, if they did not renounce their Christian faith.

According to religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), 37 Christians have managed to escape the area, after locals threatened to confiscate their land and cut them off from food and water supplies if they did not change their religion.

The displaced families, including one pregnant woman, have sought refuge in neighbouring villages.

Three other families were forcefully converted to Hinduism.

Violence towards religious minorities in India has risen significantly over the last five years after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) first came to power.

President Narendra Modi's BJP party secured a further five year term in the country's recent elections.

CSW released the following statement: "We are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of the Christian families who have been forced to either convert or run for their lives.

The freedom to choose a religion is a fundamental right afforded to every Indian citizen.

We urge the local authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, to give full protection to these families, and to take the necessary steps to ensure that Christian families in Masiya Mahuwatoli village are able to live without fear and intimidation."

The Bharno town police station rejected a complaint made by the families on 17th June.

An online First Information Report has now been registered and forwarded to the district police of Gumla.

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