A Christian couple in Uppaladinni, Karnataka, was recently beaten for their faith and threatened with death if they continued to practise Christianity. The attack on Vijayalakshmi Chavhan and her husband Ashok happened on 10 January, the day after Vijayalakshmi was accused by several media organisations of conducting forced religious conversions.
Vijayalakshmi is a registered healthcare worker who goes door to door raising awareness of basic medical needs. Some villagers, however, objected to a Christian being allowed to enter their homes. Her opponents threatened to get her fired and conveyed warnings of violence.
After the conversion allegations circulated, Christians in the area intervened on Vijayalakshmi’s behalf, filing a complaint with the police. However, when the Christian woman, her husband and some of the villagers met with police to resolve the situation, a mob of around 300 people arrived and attacked the married couple. While police officers attempted to intervene, sources report that they did not do enough to prevent the attack.
A police investigation has since been launched, with six men named as perpetrators of the incident. However, harassment continues for this couple, as well as the members of their church. For instance, three Christian families recently had their utilities disconnected for four days on the instruction of the community chief. These believers have also received threats and warnings to stop following Jesus.