By Alexis Lyons
An Indian grandmother was stripped and killed in December in apparent retaliation for her son converting to Christianity.
Samari Kasabi, 55, was brutalized and burned in the village of Dokawaay in Chhattisgarh after an angry mob showed up looking for her adult son and his family.
Police detained the village chief but released him with no charge after two days, the UK’s Daily Express reported.
Attacks against Christians in the largely Hindu nation of India have been on the rise since 2013 as the nationalist Hindu party in power seems to turn a blind eye from such incidents, the Express said. A similar attack by religious extremists occurred against a Protestant church in Madhya Pradesh. Church-goers were pelted with stones after the service while police did nothing, eyewitnesses reported.
Fearing for their lives and safety, many Christians have turned their back on their faith to avoid persecution.
When rampaging villagers could not find Sukura, 35, and his family, they turned on the Christian grandmother. Sukura reported the murder of his mom to police, and apparently some arrests have been made, it was reported.
Workers from the Christian charity group Open Doors went on motorcycles over dirt roads to meet Sukura in the remote village, to pray with him and to encourage him.
“Since the day I came to faith no Christian leader from any place has visited us,” Sukura told them. “This is the first time someone has come and prayed for us. Thank you so much.”
There are an estimated 63 million Christians in India, but 80 percent of the country’s 1.3 billion identify as Hindu. In the nationalistic furor stirring the nation, five states have outlawed converting to Christianity, and other states appear poised to follow suit.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a political party urging the return to native Indian religion and values, has done little to stop attacks against Christians.
Pastor Emmanuel Ariel said: “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists and the BJP led by former district chief, threw stones at members of the community, attacked our women and broke the church lamps.
“All this happened before the eyes of the police officers, who stood by as silent spectators.”
Alexis Lyons is a sophomore at the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica.