(International Christian Concern) — Under India’s constitution, people’s right to religious freedom is broadly protected by Article 25. In practice, however, this right has become overshadowed by conflicting laws and the actions local governments.
This fact of life in India was recently demonstrated by unconstitutional actions taken by village leaders in the village of Penkodo, located in India’s Chhattisgarh state. In Penkodo, village leaders passed a resolution that both condemned and prohibited the practice of Christianity. To justify these unconstitutional actions, the village leaders used local laws allowing them to pass village resolutions aimed at protecting their traditional customs and culture.
According to local reports, the residents of Penkodo became irritated with local Christians because they were not participating in traditional Adivasi festivals. Village leaders asked the Christians to stop practicing their faith, but the Christians refused.
Upset, the village leaders drafted an official ordinance on April 13, condemning Christianity and claiming it was harming local practices and traditions.