A domestic abuser in India reportedly assaulted his wife and four children over their Christian faith, and his criminal behavior has become a rallying cry for increased persecution.
Ramesh Kumar, a Hindu follower and resident in a small Indian village, had already cut off his wife and children from financial support. The vulnerable women with children to care for alone, was subjected to her husband’s violent rage when she refused to denounce Jesus Christ. The children stood fast in their beliefs as well.
In a depraved act of zealotry, Kumar reportedly told the family, “If you did not stop going to church, I will drive you out from the house and file a case against you all since you have changed your religion.”
In India, he may have the option of filing an apostasy case against them. In some parts of the world, people can suffer criminal penalties and even execution for adhering to Christian beliefs.
In a display of self-righteousness rarely reported on, Kumar is said to have taken out an advertisement in a local publication that urges villagers of the northern Haryana region to persecute his wife and children. The advertisement, reportedly, calls on the employer of his 23-year-old son to terminate his employment and further cripple the economic plight of the estranged family members. The income is the only financial resource they have remaining.
The troubling report about Christian persecution appears to run far deeper than a single radical man attacking his family. Kumar reportedly made efforts to involve the local police on his behalf. He made claims that his wife and children attempted to force him into Christianity against his will. He went on to say they tried to accost him and drag him to a Christian church.
Reports indicate that the wife and children have been interrogated over the matter on at least three occasions by law enforcement officials. That seems to indicate that local police are willing to entertain claims against Christians. No criminal charges have been reportedly made against Kumar for violently beating his wife.
The chairman of the British Asian Association has commented about the incident.
“The disownment of his children by a patriarch has left this family very vulnerable,” Wilson Chowdhry said. “They have been targeted by a father who is caught up in the religious zeal that has become more commonplace in India since the Modi regime came into power.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected to the high office in 2014, and has been a touchstone for religious intolerance. Hardline Hindu followers have repeatedly disrupted Christian services since he took office. Officials from the Catholic Church have called on the Prime Minister to address and denounce growing Christian persecution.
“We are distressed that people have begun taking the law into their own hands in various matters. This is not good for the country and not good for social and religious harmony,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, reportedly said. “We call upon the prime minister to rein in these unruly forces and restore India’s image.”
However, the Christian backlash has continued to escalate under Prime Minister Modi.
During the first half of 2017, Christians in India suffered threats, harassment and attacks due to their faith more than 400 times. Approximately 248 of those occurred in the first quarter of the year alone. Rates of Christian persecution in India are expected to almost double from 2016 to 2017, according to data provided by Open Doors.
Of the violent attacks on practicing Christians, 99 percent of the assailants were Hindu fundamentalists. Approximately 37 incidents of social boycotts have been inflicted on Indian Christians and more than 30 were forced from their homes.
Last year, India reached its highest mark ever on the organization’s Christian persecution Watch List at No. 15. Prime Minister Modi has been widely regarded as a Hindu nationalist and extremist.
The violently displaced family has been aided by local Christians and members of the British Pakistani Christian Association. Pastor Ramesh has reportedly assisted them in finding a place to live, according to British Asian Christian Association officer Pastor Naresh Paul.
“They have been abandoned by the community because of their faith and no one (except Pastor Ramesh) is coming forward to help them,” Pastor Naresh Paul said.
~ 1776 Christian