India: Christians banned from burying their dead


In the Bastar region of India, Christians have been refused permission to bury their dead. Indian Christians, a large minority in the country, are regularly subjected to discrimination and persecution. 

According to Christian today, this is the fifth time, since November 10, that Christians have been prevented from burying their dead in the Bastar region of India. Phulsingh Kachlam, a Christian politician in Narayanpur, reports that “police officials [...] forcibly took away” the body of a deceased Christian after “local Hindus and other villagers objected to his burial”.

“The latest incident took place day before yesterday, in which police and Tehsildar officials indulged in violence and forcibly took away the body of Sukhram, a local Christian from Koliyari village, after the Local Hindus and other villagers opposed his burial.

The villagers refused to allow the Christian to be buried not only in their village but also in the surrounding area. The body of the deceased was finally buried by the authorities “in the town of Narayanpur and not in his own village”.

“Sukhram's family was pressured by authorities and police to sign a statement saying they had given consent for his body to be buried in Narayanpur town and not in their own village . But they didn't sign anything."

This is not the first time that we have witnessed this type of incident in India. Phulsingh Kachlam recalls that in previous cases, these events were followed by waves of violence against Christians. 

For his part, the Reverend Vijayesh Lal, general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of India, denounced the pressure and violence suffered by Christians in the region. 

“We have received reports that Christians in Narayanpur and Kondagaon districts have been harassed by denying them permission to bury their dead throughout 2022, especially during the second half of the year. year. We also heard of Christians summoned to village council meetings in both districts, where they were forced to renounce their faith. But nothing prepared us for the violence and pressure that was unleashed against Christians in the region in December," said Rev. Vijayesh Lal, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India.

Melanie Boukorras 

Image credit: Shutterstock / Tudoran Andrei

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