Supporters of hardline Vishwa Hindu Parishad Hindu group hold tridents in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India. | REUTERS

Tribal animists in central India threatened to beat and kill a 9-year-old Christian girl after driving her family into the jungle because they refused to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. 

Two days after tribal animists expelled the Christian family from Bilood village in Madhya Pradesh state and demolished their home, the wife of the primary assailant, identified as Laxman, stopped the girl as she returned from school to her makeshift refuge in the jungle.

The girls’ father, pastor Lalu Kirade, told Morning Star News: “Holding her by her hair, Laxman’s wife asked her how dare she enter the village. [She] told her that she cannot miss school as her annual examinations are taking place. But Laxman’s wife pulled my daughter’s hair and threatened her that she should not been seen in the village or she would be beaten to death.”

His daughter walked back to their jungle site crying the entire way, Kirade said.

“I cried before the Lord for hours, asking Him what the fault of my children was and why are they being treated this way,” he said, adding he does not feel comfortable reporting the attack to police.

“My children are studying in the government school of the village — I cannot risk their lives,” he said. “If I make a complaint with the police, the assailants will not spare my children.”

According to the pastor, animists, who worship gods based on ancestors, spirits, and nature, entered his property a few days earlier and told the Christians they would be expelled unless they abandoned Christianity.

“He [Laxman] was inebriated when he came to my house around 5 in the evening and began to question me about my faith,” Kirade said.

The villager harassed the family for about two hours with questions that insulted Christianity. After the pastor asked them to leave, they began to beat his 5-year-old son.

“I somehow rescued him,” Kirade said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett

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