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An Indian grandmother was stripped naked, beaten to death and her body burned, apparently because her Christian faith was “disturbing the peace” in her village.

The incident, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, followed other serious attacks on vulnerable Christians in the state this year, including the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

During the evening of 16 October, some villagers called at Samari’s home, eyewitnesses said, and asked for her son. When she told them he was out, they dragged her outside, pulled off all her clothes and beat her to death. They then burnt her body a few hundred metres from her house.

When Sukura returned home the next day, he couldn’t find his mother. While searching near her house, he found bloodstains and a bag with the clothes she’d worn the previous day. He asked the neighbours what had happened, but said that they seemed to be hiding something. Eventually they told him the horrific news.

Sukura immediately reported the incident to police. They arrested the village chief, who confirmed the details of the murder. The chief was detained for two days while the police made more enquiries, which led to the arrest of four people from the village. The chief was then set free, while the other four have not yet been charged.

Six months earlier, some of the villagers had complained about Sukura’s family to local Naxalites – militant communists operating in India, who are known to have murdered many Christians in the past.  The villagers told the Naxalites that Sukura’s family was “disturbing the peace” of the village and must be killed. The Naxalites then abducted and detained Sukura and his family for three days, before letting them go.

“The Naxalites told the villagers that we were innocent, were praying for the welfare of the community and not disturbing the peace,” said Sukura. However, the villagers continued to threaten the family.

Source: World Watch Monitor

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will walk closely with this family as they continue to come to terms with their terrible loss. May their church family and their community be of great support and encouragement.
  • Pray this tragic death will not be in vain. May the testimony of Samari and her family be used by the Holy Spirit to change the hearts of many.
  • Pray for the investigation of this crime; pray for justice for this family.