On November 8, 2020, the Bilaspur High Court, located in India’s Chhattisgarh state, ordered the district administration of Kondagaon to facilitate the safe return of Christians displaced from three villages. This order came after 12 Christians filed a Public Interest Litigation with the court pleading for security to provide to displaced Christians.
In late September, Christians from Kakadabeda, Telliabeda, and Singanpur were called to a village meeting and told to recant their Christian faith. When the Christians refused, they were attacked by radical Hindu nationalists and their homes were destroyed. Since the attack, these Christians have remained displaced.
“We ran for our lives,” Vijay Sori, a survivor of the September attack, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “The death threat they hurled against us were very frightening. There was no other way than to flee from the village.”
“Our lives are in danger as the villagers have vowed to kill us if we return,” Sori continued. “Our lives are being badly affected with the dangerous atmosphere created by the villagers.”
On October 14, 12 Christians, including Sori, petitioned the Bilaspur High Court to provide protection to the Christians displaced by the September attack. On November 8, the court agreed with the Christian petitioners and ordered the district administration of Kondagaon to provide protection to the displaced Christians as they returned to their home villages.
“We want the freedom to worship and a safe atmosphere,” Sori told ICC. “We don’t trouble anyone and no one should trouble us. That’s why we have been pleading in the court and with the authorities.”
“I hope the local authorities will follow the directions of the court,” Sori continued. “I hope that the situation will improve and we will be able to go back to our homes without any fear.”
The Christians of Kakadabeda, Telliabeda, and Singanpur were displaced for nearly one and a half months. According to local Christians, little has been done by local authorities to bring the nationalists responsible for the attack to justice and four Christians remain imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.