- Thursday, May 16, 2024

Violence against Christians in India’s Chhattisgarh state recently reached marked a new level of escalation with the brutal murder of a young Christian man.

On May 4, 2024, 22-year-old Kosa Kawasi was fatally attacked by a mob of community members allegedly led by his uncle and cousin. After he converted to Christianity, Kawasi’s family and village attempted to evict him from the area and seize his assets. Some family members also pressured him to revert to his former faith, reportedly sending death threats.

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Despite Kawasi’s reports to authorities seeking intervention, no police action was taken. The police have labeled the murder a result of a “property dispute.” Witnesses claim that is only partially true, as they say Kawasi’s uncle was motivated by religious hatred.

Kawasi’s wife, Jime, was also wounded in the attack, but escaped to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

Five other Christian families have fled the region due to the incident.

Religious violence trending in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is witnessing a progression of discrimination, violence, and persecution against Christians.

On April 25, 2024, villagers protested the burial of Christian convert Ishwar Korram. Hindu radicals halted the funeral procession in the street, forcing police to intervene. Despite efforts to seek justice through the authorities, the family faced prolonged delays while the body lay in the mortuary. A High Court eventually granted permission for the family to bury Korram according to Christian rites.

In June 2023, Samaru Korram [no relation to Ishwar] and his son Dayaram were summoned to a village meeting and coerced to abandon their Christian faith. The two men resisted and were later met with retaliation as community members looted fields and crops. Despite lodging a complaint at the police station, no action was taken by the authorities.

When Samaru passed away in April 2024, he was given a Christian burial over the objections of the village residents. Some villagers threatened to exhume the body, alleging foul play. Police intervention protected the family from further harm.

According to the United Christian Forum, an organization that tracks attacks against Christians in India, there were 84 documented incidents in Chhattisgarh state within the first four months of 2023, the second most in the country.

Chhattisgarh has a population of approximately 30 million people. About 93% are Hindu, while 2% practice Christianity.

Peter Lawson is a writer for Global Christian Relief (GCR), America’s leading watchdog organization focused on the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide. In addition to equipping the Western church to advocate and pray for the persecuted, GCR works in the most restrictive countries to protect and encourage Christians threatened by faith-based discrimination and violence.

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