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A church that was destroyed in the 2008 violence

Kartik Paramenika has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ramesh Digal in Orissa, India. The conviction, which was handed down in March, is the first for any of the murders that occurred during widespread mob violence against Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa, in August and September of 2008 (for more, click here).

Kartik had led a mob to Petapanga village in 2008, where he killed Ramesh and burned down his home. Ramesh had worked as a cook in a school at which Kartik was headmaster. In addition to the life sentence for the murder, Kartik was also sentenced to five years for arson and was fined 5,000 rupees.

Convictions are difficult in India as witnesses are often threatened and harassed. Dr. John Dayal, a member of the Government of India's National Integration Council, said, "Justice remains the critical issue in Kandhamal where a combination of circumstances, including lacunae in investigations and coercion of witnesses, has resulted in a long series of acquittals. This conviction will help begin to rebuild faith in the judicial system. We must also congratulate the public prosecutor for securing this major success."

Please pray that more people responsible for the 2008 murders will be brought to justice. Please pray that witnesses to the crimes will be protected by the Lord and that their courage will not falter despite intimidation and threats of violence. Pray that those who perpetrated violence against believers will repent and seek forgiveness from Jesus. Ask God to help those affected by the 2008 attacks to forgive and love their attackers.

For more on persecution in India, go to the India Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC VOMC assists persecuted Christians with legal support and rehabilitation assistance, and cares for children of martyrs by providing them with a safe place to be nurtured physical and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and works to strengthen and support marginalized and persecuted Christian women. Additionally, VOMC helps to provide medical assistance to believers who have faced injuries after being attacked.”

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defense, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry, Medical Fund

Country Information


1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.


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India News

  • Anti-Conversion Laws Expand to Haryana State
    A group of people riding motorbikes, all wearing orange scarves, some carrying orange flags
    Hindu nationalists in Haryana.
    Photo: Morning Star News

    Despite strong opposition, and even walkouts organized by opposing politicians, the Haryana Assembly in northern India passed the "Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill" on March 22nd. The bill's stated purpose is to instil

  • Pastor Killed by Masked Men
    Man with his head in his hands
    Pray that believers will sense the comforting presence of God’s Holy Spirit who grieves with them in their loss.

    Pastor Yallam Shankar was at home in Angampalli, Chhattisgarh, on March 17th when five masked men suddenly burst in. After dragging the pastor from his home, the attackers stabbed him to

  • Pastor Beaten Over Conversion Allegations
    Large building (Delhi Police Station)
    Delhi Police Station
    Photo: Wikipedia / Ji-Elle (cc)

    On the morning of February 25th, Pastor Kelom Kalyan Tet was returning from visiting a friend when he was accosted on a street in South Delhi by a mob. Accusing the pastor of illegal conversion activities, they began to beat him. The assailants