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03/05/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – On February 20, an Indian evangelist’s mother, wife, and 11-month-old son were beaten when he was not found at home when a radical group descended on their house. Podiya Tati, an evangelist in Chhattisgarh, was meant to be the target of the attack but was away working at the time. The animists who attacked his home were seeking him out because he was attending a church several miles away from his home and was not attending the villages’ festivals.

The attackers also destroyed about a year’s supply of food that the family had stored, along with personal identification documents and a borewell that had just been installed in January to store water. When the six assailants left, they threatened that they would be back to kill Tati when he returned.

Tati’s wife and mother, Hung and Jimmey, respectively, are still hospitalized and likely have several days before they can be released. However, Tati and the rest of the family are fearful to return home, unsure of what may happen to them if they did, but do not know where else to go.

The Christian evangelist registers a First Information Report (FIR) on February 21st at the police station in Kirandul. Three of the assailants were summoned to the police station twice, but they were never arrested. The attackers provided bail just a few days later and now walk free.

This was one of at least 12 incidents of anti-Christian violence that took place leading up to President Trump’s visit to India, showing that persecution against religious minorities and particularly Christians did not slow down with his impending travel.

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