06/14/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Priyatama was widowed during a string of violent anti-Christian riots in India in August 2008. The violence began when a prominent Hindu leader was assassinated and Christians were falsely blamed. This led to months of mob violence throughout Odisha State. Over 100 Christians were murdered, thousands of homes were destroyed, and 56,000 people were displaced.
On the night of her husband Abhimanyu’s death, Priyatama woke up to the sound of shouting outside of their house. A mob had formed and captured her husband. Despite her pleas to release him, they tied him up and burned him alive. Priyatama extinguished the flames and sought help. The neighbors rejected her cries for help and Abhimanyu succumbed to his burns the next day.
After facing several financially draining situations, including her husband’s burial, she was forced to close her small shop. The store was the family’s main source of income. In order to feed her family, she began working in the fields along with her son. The work was grueling and was especially challenging for Priyatama who suffers from health problems.
ICC eventually learned of her situation and stepped in. With the help of generous donors, we provided supplies to reopen her shop once again. Her family will no longer have to live hand to mouth. Priyatama is also able to take care of her health and rest.
Priyatama believes that she survived all those years because of God. He was her strength through the challenging years and still continues to be. She was grateful and surprised that God sent someone to help her after years of scraping by. She said, “This is nothing but the blessing of God for our faithfulness.”
To read more stories like this, sign up for ICC’s free monthly magazine.