In 1985, a community of 60 Christian families prospered in the historic city of Madurai, located in India’s Tamil Nadu state. These families were able to freely practice their Christian faith and travel wherever they pleased. Unfortunately, the situation of Christians in India has significantly changed.
In January 2018, this community of Christian families was given an ultimatum by radical Hindu nationalists. They were told that they could either convert to Hinduism or face a social boycott.
Shortly after this ultimatum was announced, the Christians families found themselves cut off from the local water supply. Then, they were told that they were not allowed to socialize with the Hindu members of the Ramamurthy Nagar neighborhood. If caught violating any of these new standards, the radicals announced that the Christians would be fined 5,000 Rupees (approximately $70.00 USD).
In the face of this intense, and perhaps illegal, social pressure, approximately half of the Christian families of Ramamurthy Nagar have converted to Hinduism. Now, 30 Christians families remain holding on to their Christian faith in the face of intense deprivation.
Across India, radical Hindu nationalists use social boycotts to pressure Christians into converting to Hinduism. Through these boycotts, Christian families are cut off from necessities like electricity, water, the ability to cultivate agricultural fields, and even the ability to socialize with Hindu villagers.
Date published: 11/09/2019
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