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10/01/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – On September 29, three Christians were severely beaten by a mob of angry villagers in India’s eastern state of Odisha. According to local reports, a recent conversion to Christianity in the village sparked the violence.

On September 25, Ganga, a villager from Mariguda village, located in the Malkangiri district, chose to convert to Christianity after hearing the Gospel from Mukesh Podiami. When other villagers came to know about Ganga’s conversion, they beat him.

On September 29, Ganga was called to a village meeting. There, villagers reportedly said, “You have accepted the Christian religion. You should not live in this village anymore. Give us a written statement that you do not belong to this village, that your parents don’t live here, that you don’t have any rights in this village, and don’t have any land.

Under threat, Ganga agreed to give the written statement. After drafting the statement, he called Mukesh and Pastor Sam, Mukesh’s superior. Both Christians travelled to Mariguda to support Ganga.

When Mukesh and Pastor Sam arrived in Mariguda, they asked if they could take pictures of the written statement Ganga was forced to draft. After being given permission, other villagers took exception to the photos and attacked Mukesh, Pastor Sam, and Ganga.

The three Christians were beaten with sandals, sticks, and other objects. Mukesh was hit with a rock and sustained three deep cuts on his head.

Pastor Sam called the local police and the three Christians were taken to Malkangiri Government Hospital for treatment. The Christians lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against the villagers who attacked them, however, no action has been taken by police to confront the assailant.

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