Hindu extremists demand retribution after organizers show Christian film

Immanuel Tirkey and about 100 villagers were watching the end of a Christian film in Bihar state, India, when a man began challenging their right to view the film.

Tirkey was one of five Christians who had organized the Aug. 23 screening of “He Will Come Again” at the home of a Christian woman identified only as Anandi. 

The protester left but returned with at least 15 other Hindu villagers armed with swords, bamboo poles and wooden sticks. Protesters  demanded that at least one of the Christians should be “beaten to death to teach us a lesson and [so] that it would be the end of Christianity in the village,” Tirkey said. 

India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.  

In related news:

A Cuban pastoral couple who homeschooled their children through a private online Christian school has been imprisoned, convicted of violating a Cuban law that prohibits allowing minors to miss school or to “refuse the educational work inherent in the national education system.”

The couple had served one year of house arrest for homeschooling in 2017. In both trials prosecutors argued homeschooling “is not allowed in Cuba because it has a capitalist base” and only teachers are trained “to inculcate socialist values,” reported the independent news outlet Diario de Cuba, which has closely followed the case.

A spokesperson for Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) noted other Christian children and parents have suffered similarly.

“Over the years CSW has received numerous cases of children of pastors being bullied and ridiculed at school because of their religious beliefs even to the point of causing serious psychological trauma,” said CSW’s Anna-Lee Stangl. “This is unacceptable.”

A Baptist pastor kidnapped and tortured in Nigeria was released after his family and Christian leaders paid a ransom, sources said.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Kaduna state who abducted Elisha Noma on Aug. 14 received 3 million naira ($8,181) before freeing him Aug. 31.

In August alone more than 40 pastors in Nigeria were either kidnapped or suffered some form of violence from herdsmen or Boko Haram terrorists. 

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution. 

A Roman Catholic priest and an evangelical pastor in Mexico were killed in August and another pastor was kidnapped, according to published reports.

José Martín Guzmán Vega was killed Aug. 22 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, in northeast Mexico, according to the Catholic Multimedia Center (CCM). He was stabbed several times inside his parish.

His death brings to 27 the number of priests killed in Mexico since 2012, according to CCM. 

On the other side of the country in southwest Mexico’s Oaxaca state, Pastor Alfrery Líctor Cruz Canseco was shot to death in Tlalixtac de Cabrera on Aug. 18 shortly after leading a worship service at his church.

Mexico ranks 39th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians experience the most persecution. (MS)