Barnabas Fund, 25 June 2021 (excerpts)
Extremists have destroyed the homes of eight Christian families and forcibly expelled them from their village in Odisha state.
The mob devastated the Christians’ homes and forced them to leave the village. Initially the Christian families were not even allowed to re-enter their properties to recover household and personal belongings before police intervened to calm the situation. They are currently taking refuge in a forest nearby with the rainy season looming.
Pastor Upajukta Singh paid tribute to the Christians’ continuing strong faith in Jesus, commenting that the radical group could not tolerate the presence of Christian families in the village.
Nori Konjaka, one of the victims, declared that the attackers “can destroy our homes, but not our faith in Jesus”. Others affirmed in front of police that they were prepared to lose everything for Jesus, the living God.
One young girl testified that the villagers compelled Christians to worship their gods and eat food offered in the temple, pointedly adding, “As their gods seems to flee away by our presence in the village, they are opposing us.”