Two men held falsely responsible for the catalyst to the 2008 anti-Christian Kandhamal riots have been released. India’s Supreme Court ordered the release of Garnath Chalanseth in May and Bijaya Sanset in July. Four other Christian men remain in prison. Many blamed the men for the murder of Hindu priest Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, which incited massive riots that lasted for days and resulted in the destruction of thousands of homes and the displacement of about 50,000 people. Seeking to resolve the situation, authorities arrested the six Christian men, who were falsely convicted of Swami Saraswati’s murder and imprisoned. It has taken nearly a decade for their various legal appeals to be heard. Pray for the release of the other four men who are still in prison.
Second of Two Kandhamal Prisoners Released
Recent Prayer Requests
Praise God for the Release of Four Men and Faithfulness of Seven FamiliesFour Christian men arrested over the past two months were released from jail recently. The first believer to be arrested, "Sanyahak," was detained in early October after 40 people came to know Christ through his witness. The three other men were later arrested, amid ongoing harassment of seven Christian families in the community.
Pray for Arrested Christian Students and Children of Arrested ParentsSixteen Christian students were arrested earlier this month, the latest in a series of arrests since May 2017. The students, who were arrested after being discovered praying together, were held for more than two weeks before being released.
Village Bans Buddhists from Selling Food to ChristiansAuthorities in a Buddhist village recently established a law forbidding Buddhists from hiring Christians for work and from renting or selling anything to Christians. As a result, believers in the village are unable to buy food. Every day, village authorities pressure the Christians to return to Buddhism, promising that if they do they will be able to buy food again. The believers, however, are standing firm. "This is not a game," one Christian replied. "We were baptized. We believe in Christ 100 percent and we will die believing."
Donate to VOM’s Front-Line Worker Fund
This fund provides front-line workers with much needed support including Bibles, Christian literature, bicycles, support for family, and other needs to enable them to minister in their communities.