Christian families have fled their homes in the Jharkhand state of India after threats from angry Hindus.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), seven families left Masiya Mahuwatoli village on 12 June after about 200 villagers tried to force them to convert to Hinduism. The mob was stirred up by the activist group Hindu Jagran Manch.

The villagers told the Christians that unless they converted they would not be allowed to use the village road, drink the community water or receive government rations. Moreover, their children would be banned from school and their land confiscated.

When some villagers refused to renounce their faith, their Bibles were burnt and it is thought that three families were forced to undergo a conversion ceremony. One man was told he would be killed, but escaped.

According to CSW, about 37 of the village’s 47 Christians have fled to neighbouring villages, but fear for their elderly parents who are still in the village and in need of care.

The local police rejected a complaint made by the families, and they are appealing to the district police.