Christian villagers beaten in Orissa

March 23, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india, Persecution

Orissa MapOrissa, March 21, 2013: Christian villagers in Orissa state, India, were abused and tortured by police, who barged into their homes in the middle of the night.The incident in Phatachanchara village in Ganjam district happened on 15 February. Around 60 police officers surrounded the village at 2.30am and then forced entry to the Christians’ homes. One of them stepped on the hand of a four-year-old boy, causing a fracture.

Hearing the commotion, Pastor Jahaya Mandal came forward, and the police started to interrogate him about his ministry. Church deacon Korneil Roita was called for, and he was subsequently tied to a tree and beaten severely. Other Christians were also tied to trees and physically assaulted. When one of them shouted, “O God, O Jesus, Alleluia, Alleluia,” the police officers were enraged and began beating the Christians even more brutally, causing severe injuries.

At 6.30am, the police led six Christians, including the pastor and deacon, into the jungle with their hands tied. They were forced to walk barefoot over thorny and rocky ground for four kilometers, which caused their feet to bleed. After a short rest, the Christians were then taken to another village 12 kilometers from their own, where they were left in a very bad state.Christians in India are vulnerable to violent attacks, usually at the hands of Hindu extremists. While the police often fail to intervene and apprehend the offenders, they are rarely the perpetrators of violence against Christians.

In a separate incident, a young Christian preacher and musician, Mark Sapdi, was shot outside a Christian convention at Philadelphia Church in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh on 19 January. He was sitting under a tree with some friends when he felt something like a stone hit his waist.Mark was in pain but did not initially realise that he had been shot. He was feverish for the next two or three days, but the pain gradually subsided. It later returned much more severely, and he went to hospital, where an x-ray revealed a bullet near his hip bone. Mark underwent surgery to remove the bullet, which was from an AK 47 gun.


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