At least seven Christian families were forced to flee from their homes in the Jharkhand state of India this month after receiving threats and facing harassment from a Hindu mob, a global human rights advocacy group reports.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which advocates for religious freedom in over 20 countries, the seven families were forced from Masiya Mahuwatoli village on June 12 after a mob of about 200 villagers was riled up by the activist group Hindu Jagran Manch.
HJM is a group affiliated with the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization.
The sources explained that the representatives of the HJM made a list of Christian families in the village who would be instructed to recant their faith or face potential consequences.
When the families refused the demands to convert, the villagers became violent.
The villagers reportedly threatened the Christian families with excommunication, a ban from using the village road, a ban from accessing community water as well as exclusion from all government rations. Additionally, about 12 kids were said to have been banned from going to the local school.
The sources added that the woman who was nine months pregnant, Anima Munda, was forced to walk about four miles to seek refuge in the neighbouring village.
The alleged assault on the Christian community in Masiya Mahuwatoli village is not the first time Christians have been forced out of their villages in Jharkhand state.