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Villagers in India in hiding after severe attack by animists.

INDIA: Christian villagers in hiding after brutal attack Several Christian families are reported to be in hiding after tribal animists in Chhattisgarh state, India, threatened to kill them for reporting a mob attack to police two weeks ago. Armed with bamboo sticks, iron rods, bows and arrows and iron sickles, a large mob attacked a home and adjoining church hall in Chingrwaram village, Sukma District, where Christians had celebrated the birth of a new child with prayers and thanksgiving the previous evening. Some 20-25 friends and family were sleeping in the home and another 25-30 in the church hall when locals, many of them drunk, attacked, Morning Star News reports.

‘They beat up the children as well as the women who were cooking food outside,’ said Laxman Mandavi, a 21-year-old survivor of the assault. While the children were beaten up with hands and feet, the others were shot at with arrows and beaten up with iron rods.’ The attackers shot Mandavi’s father, the 50-year-old homeowner Madvi Muka, with arrows, leaving him wounded, and attacked Madkam Sanni (pictured) with a sickle that left deep cuts between her fingers and fractured her hand, Mandavi said. ‘It was complete mayhem, and people were running to save their lives,’ another victim, 24-year-old Laxshu Madkam, told Morning Star News. ‘They also alleged that we were converting people and influencing them to turn them to our faith,’ he said. Many of the guests escaped to the jungle to save their lives. Some said they ran to the nearest Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp and asked for help, but officers refused to go with them. Early the next morning survivors, mistakenly assuming it was safe to return to the area, walked into an ambush and were ‘roughed up very badly’. Attorney Amit Manwatkar, a volunteer for the Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Religious Liberty Commission, said police had applied weak sections of the law, diminishing the seriousness of the attacks. ‘A religiously motivated violent incident has been shown as a common brawl,’ Manwatkar told Morning Star News. He said the animists threatened to kill the Christians after they filed the police complaint, so about 25 had taken refuge in another town, including the injured and their families. (Source and photo: Morning Star News)

Ask God to comfort and heal, physically and emotionally, all those affected by this brutal attack. Pray that those responsible would be brought to justice. Pray that the authorities would take this attack seriously as an act of religiously motivated violence and act to prevent further violence against Christians. Pray that the International Community including the UK would raise the issue of growing persecution against Christians with the Indian government. UPDATE Seven Christians were murdered by militant Fulani herdsmen in attacks on predominantly Christian communities in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria, on the night of November 28, according to Morning Star News. Four others were wounded and two children – identified as Rebecca Andrew and Clement Andrew – were kidnapped in the attacks in Jema’a County, a local resident told Morning Star. A number of houses were burned down. Please pray for the bereaved, the injured and for the safe return of Rebecca and Clement. (Source: Morning Star News)

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