A young woman in the Khunti district of Jharkhand has become the fifth victim in a string of Christians killed in India because of their faith.
The woman, 25-year-old Suman Munda, was found dead on July 19 in a deserted place near her home, according to Vatican News. Just one month earlier, on June 24, another Christian, 27-year-old Ramji Munda, was killed outside a village in the Khunti district.
Speaking out about Munda’s murder, Bishop Binay Kandulna said, “It is a matter of serious concern because the state witnessed a Christian man killed only last month in the same district.”
Faithwire managing editor Dan Andros spoke with Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, who recounted stories of the murders of some of the believers.
“Persecution is on the rise all over India,” Nettleton said. “If it was one village or one state, and you could kind of say, ‘Yeah, things are really hard there, but look at these other places,’ but when you see people in four different states within such a span of time being killed, it really reflects the attitude and the atmosphere for Christians all over India.”
“They are under pressure,” he continued, “and the government — the national government — is led by Hindu nationalists, people who believe that Indian soil is Hindu soil, every person in India should be a Hindu.”
As a result of that overarching philosophy, the VOM executive explained to Andros, bad actors feel they can “get away with” these fatal persecutions of Christians.
As for Bishop Kandulna, he is calling for religious tolerance across India.
“Persons of faith,” he said, “are a creation of God and we have to respect all.” The bishop added, “Some vested interests groups are trying to target minorities in the state to spread hatred among various faiths who are otherwise peace-loving people.”
The killing of Christians in India is on the rise.
In 2019, Persecution Relief, a group dedicated to helping persecuted Christians in India, recorded 527 cases of persecution against Christians, compared to 447 cases in 2018.