Four families have been reported beaten and expelled from their village in the Indian state of Orissa early this month for being Christians.
The families were residents of Ladamila in the district of Kandhamal in the Indian state of Orissa.
A report on AsiaNews said that on September 19, a group of Christian women were prevented from getting water from a well.
A group of men and women later stormed the homes of the Christians, started beating people and threw away the water, making it impossible for the families to even cook their food.
The report said two of the Christian families fled to the forest while the other two sought refuge in another village.
The families belong to the Pentecostal group Jesus Calls Prayer Tower.
When the families returned to the village after two days they found their homes destroyed. Their neighbors told them that because they became Christians they were no longer welcome to live in the village.
“It is serious that some Christians are still persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ,” said Father Dibyasingh Parichha, a member of the legal team of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.
“This is a discriminatory, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” said Bishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.
“After all the efforts that have been made here to restore peace, it is painful and shameful that nothing can stop the aggression and threat against Christians,” said the prelate.
“What can be said of people who deny their fellow citizens even drinking water? This inhuman behavior (and) must be stopped immediately,” he said.
The bishop said those involved in the attacks “must be firmly sanctioned according to law.”
“These episodes create insecurity and fear among people who are stigmatized and threatened only for their faith in Jesus,” he said.
Orissa has been in the center of civil unrest and riots in 2008 due to the persecution of Christians and other minority groups in the area. Many Christian families were reported burnt alive in their homes and places of worship.