Arrests, Beatings and Secret Prayers: Inside the Persecution of India’s Christians

Muttur Devi, a decrease caste girl who works on a farm in the impoverished state of Bihar, adopted Christianity two years in the past. Still, every morning, she affixes a bindi, a small round sticker, to her brow, and paints a vermilion stripe on her scalp. These are seen Hindu marks that she says assist disguise her departure from Hinduism.

“If I take this off,” she mentioned, touching her bindi, “the whole village will harass me.”

One chilly evening this previous winter, Pastor Patil drove to a secret prayer session in an unmarked farmhouse. He rapidly stepped inside. On a dusty carpet that smelled like sheep, two dozen Pentecostal Christians waited for him. Most have been lower-caste farmers. When a canine barked outdoors, one girl whipped round and whispered, “What’s that?”

Pastor Patil reassured the girl that she was doing nothing incorrect and that God was watching over. He cracked open his weathered, Hindi-language Bible and rested his finger on Luke 21, an apt passage for his beleaguered flock.

“They will seize you and persecute you,” he learn, voice trembling.

“You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends,” he went on, tracing the passages together with his finger. “They will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me.”

The farmers sitting on the ground, some holding sleeping infants, watched him intently.

They additionally checked the home windows to ensure nobody was coming.

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