If you thought in the Christian majority Khasi-Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, Christians only persecuted non christians then you are a bit of a Hindutva nut.
About 7-8 households of the Christian Pentecost Mission in Tongseng Village under Elaka Nongkhlieh, under the Saipung Block, and falling under East Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya are being ostracised by the majority Presbyterian Christians in the village. Headman and the Church Elders of the Presbyterian Church in Tongseng Village told the Pentecostals that they do not appreciate another faith in their village even if they are Christians. Presbyterian Christian leaders of the village have prevented the Pentecostals from even constructing their church.
If religious persecution was not enough, the families professing pentecostal beliefs have been denied government benefits and schemes like MGNREGS and PDS. It was only last year that 5 families got their ration cards when Khliehriat Supply Office supplied them with one bypassing the Headman.
Pentecostal families are even prevented from using the public vehicle which connects the village with Block and District towns as it belongs to the Presbyterians, forcing them to walk to another village to catch another vehicle. Even to carry their farm produce they have to hire a vehicle from another village.
From 2016 the Pentecostal believers had stones hurled at their house. In 2017 the cowshed and firewood store of Saitkhuid Bareh and of Fifth Bareh were burnt down. On 30/1/2018 village Presbyterians destroyed all the pentecostal farm produce like vegetables grown in their gardens.
Now the 7 families face complete displacement as they are not being given land holdings and are being asked to renew their residential certificate every six months. All for wanting to make a church for Christian worship. Presbyterian Church which has been actively campaigning against Hindutva intolerance manages to hypocritically ignore majoritarian intolerance amongst its own faithful is silent on this blatant religious persecution.
Presbyterianism, a Calvinistic-Methodist Protestant Christian denomination is the largest religious group in Khasi Jaintia Hills. Traditionally known for their puritanical attitude to dissent and difference, Presbyterian church history in these hills constantly talks about the persecution they faced in the initial years of mission in the nineteenth century. The story of the persecution of Nabon, the first Presbyterian Khasi woman by the adherents of the tradition Khasi faith on 1840s is a story widely known in the worldwide missionary circles. But now that they are in a majority, it is obvious that the theocratic arrogance has infected the Presbyterian faithful. For the Presbyterian sectarians it does not even matter that the families of Kolini Bareh (1 child), Parmi Bareh, (6 children), Saitkhuid Bareh,(4 children) Fifth Pajuh (5 Children), Phaibiang Pajuh (8 Children) Chiarvi Patwet(4 Children), Naphi Patwet (1child), Greenmary Pajuh (4 Children) deserve the same religious freedom as the Presbyterians have been talking about in their hypocritical critique of Hindutva intolerance. If they are serious about religious freedom, it would be befitting if the Presbyterian Church gets together to help the Pentecostals of the village construct their own church.
Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) has informed us that the Church of Pentecost has now written to the DC East Jaintia Hills for protection and justice.