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Pastor Sadavir’s wife and two of his three children

Brother "Sadavir" regularly shared his faith among members of India's Koya tribe in the thick forest of the Dantewada district. It eventually cost the husband and father of three his life.

Fearing the loss of their cultural identity, members of the Koya tribe attacked Brother Sadavir in 2010 and then again in 2012. Despite these previous attacks, Sadavir's ministry faithfully continued -- until a knock on his door at 1 a.m. took place on January 22nd. When his wife "Jani" opened the door, she was confronted by an angry mob of 200 people. The mob was composed of both Koyas and Naxalites, members of India's Communist guerrilla groups. Before she could say anything, the mob forcibly entered the home, grabbing Sadavir and taking him away. Jani frantically ran after the group into the forest, pleading for her husband's safety and release. "We will not do anything to him," she was told. "Go, and in the morning get food for him and come to our camp."

The next morning, Jani, joined by Sadavir's mother and sisters, began the long walk to the camp, finally arriving at about 1:30 p.m. At the camp, the Naxalite leaders were told by others affiliated with the mob, "(Sadavir) is converting all of our people to Christianity by bribing them, and he's giving all your information to the police." The abductors then tied the Christian man to a tree and -- in front of his wife, mother and sisters -- began beating his legs with bamboo sticks while accusing, "You are spoiling our culture by converting our people to Christians!" They beat him until his flesh was hanging from his bones. Then they killed him by piercing his chest with a trishula, a three-pronged spear and an important Hindu symbol.

The killers initially kept Sadavir's body, out of fear that his wife would notify the police. When Jani begged them for her husband's body, they finally gave in under one condition: that the body would be burned, not buried, as his murderers wanted no evidence of the crime. VOM is now supporting the 27-year-old widow and her three children during this difficult time as they deal with the aftermath of such horrendous trauma and loss.

Please lift up in prayer this mourning widow and her three young children, as well as other loved ones who are sharing their immense grief, asking the Lord to personally minister to each one of them through the power of His Holy Spirit. Also request that every need of this suffering family be sovereignly met through the support of the local community and ministries like VOM. Additionally, ask that this gruesome attack will somehow be used for God's glory and as a means of drawing more Koya people into a saving relationship with His beloved Son Jesus.

For more information on India's persecuted church, visit this page.

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

Designation
Persecuted

Population
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)

Leader
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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