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12/17/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – On December 12, two Christian brothers were attacked and badly beaten by radical Hindu nationalists in the Malkangiri district of India’s Odisha state. According to local Christians, the incident was sparked by the separation of one of the brothers and his wife because of his conversion to Christianity.

Hinga Madakami and his wife separated last year because of his conversion to Christianity. According to local Christians, both Hinga and his wife had converted to Christianity, but Hinga’s wife reconverted to Hinduism after she was told by local radicals that she would lose her job as a cook at the government nursery school unless she reconverted.

Hinga’s wife tried to get her husband to reconvert to Hinduism as well, but he refused. Eventually, Hinga was run out of his home village, named Dodiguda, and was fired from his job.

On December 12, the villagers of Dodiguda called Hinga and his brother, Bima, to a meeting were Hinga was to reconcile with his wife. However, radicals used the staged reconciliation meeting to attack Hinga and Bima and beat them severely.

Bima, a member of the Odisha Auxiliary Force, video called local police and showed the injuries he had sustained. Police were quickly dispatched to Dodiguda where they rescued the brothers. Hinga and Bima were taken to the local hospital where their wounds were treated and a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the radicals who attacked the brothers.

Attacks on Christians in the Malkangiri district have been widely reported to International Christian Concern (ICC) over the course of 2019. ICC has recorded churches being closed and local Christians being the victims of beatings and social boycotts.

Unfortunately, the increase of persecution in Malkangiri is reflected by what is being experienced by Christians across India.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].