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Champa Pawar, Jaikant Pawar's widow.
Photo: Compass Direct News

Hindu villagers in Chhattisgarh state, India, recently attempted to prevent the burial of a convert to Christianity by brutally attacking a group of believers. Jaikant Pawar, 31, of Balgal village, Kanker district, died in April. When more than 40 Christians at the family's house were taking his body out for burial, about 300 Hindu villagers surrounded the house and attacked. The assault continued for about six hours.

"The extremists were mocking us and said that Jesus, who calmed the storm, sent rain and who also raised up the dead, must also raise up Jaikant Pawar, and they forced us to pray," said a Christian leader. "They threatened to pull off my skin if Jesus did not make Pawar alive again."

The villagers also beat two women -- Ganga Bhai and Suki Bhai -- both 60 years old. Two Christian children who were about 10 years old were also pushed and thrown until they fell unconscious.

Later that night, the Hindu extremists told the Christians to remove the body from the village or be killed, so the believers carried the body to a police station about 10 km away. However, police were unwilling to register a report. Officials eventually summoned the attackers, who then falsely accused the Christians of beating them. Police warned the villagers not to disturb the Christians again, but reports indicate that Christians are being threatened again.

Please pray that these brothers and sisters will receive God's protection from their attackers and that their faith will be a witness to their assailants. Please pray that all believers in India will rely on the Lord as their strength and their shield, and that they will be empowered to take the gospel to every corner of India for His glory. Pray for healing for those wounded in these attacks.

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