Published: 00:00 GMT Standard Time - Wednesday 25 February 2004
Six Hindu Women Converts to Christianity Attacked and Humiliated
Orissa: Six women converts to Christianity were beaten and then tonsured when they refused to return to Hinduism.
On 6 February a large gang of Hindu extremists forcibly entered the homes of six women, in Kilipala village, Jagatsinghpur district, and dragged them into the street. The women were singled out as they were converts to Christianity and refused to return to Hinduism. They were then subjected to beatings and the humiliation of having their heads tonsured. Those who resisted were further degraded by being stripped.
Sanjukta Kandi, one of the six victims, declared "The villagers tortured and humiliated me before forcibly tonsuring my head. They didn't even spare my daughter." Two of those attacked were only 15 years old. All of them have since fled the village, along with around 15 other Christians, for fear of future attacks.
Thirty-five people have been accused of the attack, including Hindu relatives of the six women. The district administration has promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, but the state of Orissa has a bad record for turning a blind eye to the persecution of Christians.
1. Pray for Sanjukta Kandi, her daughter and the other four victims of this deeply traumatic attack. Pray that God will heal their physical and emotional scars.
2. Praise God for the growth of the Church in India and that Christians officially have freedom to practise their faith.
3. Pray that the authorities will clamp down on extremist elements at all levels of Indian society.