A middle-aged Christian man has been beheaded in Southwest India.
Anant Ram Gond, a 40-year-old father of five, was dragged out of his bed in Bhenos village, where he was asleep next to his six-year-old son, Purno. Despite cries from the child to let his father go, the assailants mercilessly removed Gond, screaming at the child not to follow them.
The next morning, the father’s mutilated body was found, with his head almost completely severed.
What was the motive?
Family members are certain that the attack on Anant was due to his devout Christian faith. However, authorities insist that the motive was political and that he was murdered by Maoist rebels.
Local pastor Hiran Khosla told International Christian Concern that he had helped Anant’s wife, Sukhbati, file a complaint with the police. Unfortunately, in many cases of violence perpetrated against the region’s Christian minority, the authorities do not follow up on reports or adequately investigate.
“Police came to the village and conducted investigations twice, but no arrests have been made [to] date,” Khosla said, adding that the “events that led to the killing of Anant Ram go back to more than two years when he was being harassed by both police and Naxalites suspecting [him] of being an informer for both sides.”
The Naxalites, often known as the “Maoists,” are a far-left insurgency group that has been causing havoc across India for almost 20 years.
In 2013, the group garnered international media attention after launching a vicious attack in the Darbha Valley that resulted in the deaths of around 24 political leaders from the Indian National Congress.
According to Open Doors USA, India is the tenth most persecuted nation on Earth in which to live as a Christian. The predominant religion, Hinduism, has within it a radical sect that is fiercely anti-Christian. Many instances of beatings, public humiliation and even murder have been reported over the last few years.
Please continue to pray for all those around the world who are persecuted for their faith.