INDIA – CHRISTIANS ARRESTED FOLLOWING DISPUTE WITH HINDU EXTREMISTS

Eleven Christians have been arrested in Badimunda village, Kandhamal, Orissa following a complaint of “assault” lodged by a group of Hindu extremists. In early February two Christians, Sumit Pradhan and Samuel Nayak, were threatened by five Hindu extremists and told they would face dire consequences if they continued to worship Jesus. They were informed that “there is no place for church and Christians in the area”. The two Christians managed to escape from the scene, but the next day the Hindu group came to the same place looking for Pradhan and Nayak. They broke into the home of another local Christian, Dibyakand Nayak, and in doing so, one of the group injured his head. On seeing this, the extremists rounded on Dibyakand, mercilessly beating him up and verbally abusing him because of his faith, and then dragged him to the police station. A report was filed against him and ten other Christians, who were then arrested. At the time of writing, Dibyakand remains in police custody. This is just the latest example of the harassment that Christians experience in Orissa. In 2008, Christians were the target of large-scale violence, which left many dead or injured, thousands homeless and much property destroyed. • Pray that evangelists and all Christian believers in Orissa will be free to worship Jesus without such persecution. • Pray that religious freedom will be upheld and that the Indian authorities will protect Christians throughout the country and bring their persecutors to justice.

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