A Christian father in India was beaten into a coma by tribal animists angered by his dedication to sharing the Gospel with villagers amid worsening persecution in the country.
On 12 March, a mob of 60 villagers in Odisha state’s Kodalmetla village, Malkangiri District, stormed the home of 30-year-old Kama Sodi, his wife, and their two young children.
The animist mob – worshipers of the gods of their tribal religion – beat Kama with wooden sticks until he fell unconscious, his wife, Bhimeshwari Sodi, said.
Christian leaders arrived to find Kama still lying unconscious, his family around him weeping, Pastor Timuthiyus Elijah said.
Local pastors arranged for Kama to be taken to the Malkangiri Government Hospital. Despite falling into a coma as a result of the beating, the Christian man regained consciousness after several days. Doctors told Bhimeshwari that her husband had blood clots in his brain and would need extra care at home and should not return to work until he fully recovered.
She had hoped to work extra hours at other people’s fields to sustain the family while he recovered, but soon after his release from the hospital, the government announced a lockdown to contain coronavirus, she said.
“Even while suffering in their hands, my husband refused to give up his faith. They declared that they would allow a chance for him to live if he renounced Christ. But my husband declined their offer and chose to suffer.”
After hearing the Gospel from an area pastor several years ago, Kama immediately put his faith in Christ, his wife said. Because of their faith, the family is socially and economically ostracised by their community. Despite persecution, they remain at their home in Bhimeshwari’s ancestral village.
“My husband and I close the doors and pray quietly; we are not afraid of tomorrow,” Bhimeshwari said. “We are socially banished from this village and have been treated as untouchables. They do not allow us to even walk on the road, and they believe that if we walk on it, it would be defiled. But our Lord is with us. We are seeking comfort in spending time with Lord Jesus.”
Sources: Morning Star News, The Christian Post
- Praise God for the faithfulness of Kama and Bhimeshwari. Pray He will help them and their children overcome the trauma of the attack. Ask the Lord to bring Kama complete healing.
- Ask the Lord to provide all the needs of the family. Pray too that they will receive much help and encouragement from other believers in the area.
- Pray their strong testimony of endurance may be used by God as a witness to the Gospel.
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