India: Believer Murdered, Pastors Beaten, Church Reduced to Rubble

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A mob of about 150 Hindu extremists attacked a church in Mandwa village near
Jagdalpur, Bastar District in the state of Chhattisgarh, on November 19. They
destroyed the Bastar for Christ Missionary Movement church building, beat pastor
Suduru Kashyap and his associates, and kidnapped 21-year-old Aayatu Kashyap, who was
later found dead. Despite the fact that few Christians present there immediately
provided names and the license number of an extremists' vehicle to the police, the
police waited until the next day to file a complaint.

The extremists were armed with hammers iron rods, and other heavy equipment. At
about 5 p.m., they descended upon the newly reconstructed church building and tore
it down. Some of the extremists entered Pastor Suduru's quarters nearby and tied up
Pastor Suduru (35) and his associates. The extremists beat them and tried to kill
Pastor Suduru by throwing a heavy stone on his head. The mob also threatened the
pastor to never hold church services there again.

A case has been registered against the accused under the following sections of the
Indian Penal Code: 147, 148, 149, 452, 447, 294, 295(a), 427, 323 and 506. Four days
after the attack, 15 people have been arrested. To provide a security cover, a team
of 30 constables has been deployed to Mandwa village.

The police have not yet registered a case for the death of Aayatu Kashyap.

Please keep the bereaved family of Aayatu in your prayers. Also pray for the safety
of the believers, especially for pastor Suduru and his family. Pray that the Church
would continue to grow in the midst of persecution.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
General Secretary,
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi