04/11/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – Rural India can be a difficult place for recent converts to Christianity. Threats from radical Hindu nationalists, neighbors, and even family are a common part of the conversion experience in India’s unreached places.
Kasturi, a Christian woman from Tumhara village located in Odisha state, experienced these threats first hand after she converted to Christianity in 2019. According to Kasturi, she converted to Christianity because the church community helped carry her daily burdens. This sense of community helped bring Kasturi a sense of peace.
However, the day she was baptized she began to face aggressive abuse from her husband. According to Kasturi, her husband would verbally abuse her, call her demeaning names, curse her, and throw her out of the house for days at a time. During these times she would stay with her cousin, but would return to care for her children.
On January 19, 2020, Kasturi went to a Sunday worship service while her husband was away. When she returned from the service, her husband was home and welcomed her with a brutal beating. After this incident, Kasturi’s husband told her he would not let her leave the house unless she renounced her Christian faith.
In the end, Kasturi could not abandon her new found faith and the peace that it brought her.
“Although I left my house and family, I am still at peace in Jesus Christ,” Kasturi told ICC. “Now, I can go to church every Sunday without any fear. I will follow Jesus Christ until my last breath.”
Currently, Kasturi is rebuilding her life in a new village where she can practice her faith openly and freely. She is also in the process of finding a job, renting a home, and preparing a place for her children to stay with her.