Another gruesome Murder, Odisha
The gruesome murder of Bro. Anant Ram Gand for his faith in Jesus Christ, has shocked the state of Odisha. His beheaded body and mortal remains were found in Raigarh Tehsil, Nabarangapur District, Odisha, on a narrow road in full public view.
On Monday, 11th February, Sis. Sukbati, accompanied by her 4 daughters, had left to the neighbouring village. Bro. Anant Ram and his 6-year old son, Purno Gaud, stayed back. Son Purno recalls that he woke up to a knock on the door. His father opened the door and 3 men called out to him. They caught hold of his father and tied his hands to his back, to a pole, leading him away from the house.
Following his father, the killers pushed little Purno away, threatening to harm him if he followed them. Fearing their threats, scared Purno ran to this Uncle’s home (father’s brother) close by.
The perpetrators of this heinous crime, first shot Bro. Anant Ram in the head, then crushed his head with a large stone, then decapitated him. His body was thrown on to the road.
Speaking to Persecution Relief Founder, local Pastor Chandan Jani, condemned the beastly act. He recalled that Anant Ram had committed to following Jesus Christ 9 months ago.
“He was baptized 2 months ago, and his passion and dedication were unbelievable. Most days, he fasted and prayed”.
“The entire family embraced their faith whole heartedly”.
From that moment on, the villagers were extremely hostile towards him and his family, depriving them of basic amenities. Water from the public well was denied them. They had to dig their own bore well to meet the family’s needs.
The villagers taunted Bro. Anant Ram and his wife about their new-found faith. In spite of the incredible pressure and intimidation of physical harm this lone Christian family faced at the hands of the villagers, it only fanned their faith to burn brighter for Jesus Christ.
He was harassed and beaten twice in 2018, and excommunicated from the village. He moved his family away from the contentious villagers and was living a kilometer away from the village.
“In the past, before he became a Christian, he was a Naxal and was caught by the Police. That was the turning point where he surrendered to the Police and renounced his life as a Naxal”
“The Naxals thought that he might share their secrets with the Police. But Anant Ram did not want enmity with anyone and assured them that he was a follower of Jesus Christ”
“He made his livelihood working in the fields”.
However, religious fanatic villagers did not appreciate his change of faith. Tension were brewing over traditional tribal customs that were not being respected and obeyed. Enraged by their cultural separation, it is alleged that the fanatics spread false stories to the Naxals about Bro. Anant Ram being a Police informer, in order to eliminate him.
“This quite spoken man, who lived peacefully in the village with his family, was murdered for his faith”.
Speaking to the Pastor in the native dialect, his wife, Sis. Sukbati said that she was fearful about their future and terrified what the religious fanatics might do to her and her 5 children.
“My master is dead. He has been killed for his faith in Jesus Christ. But I am sure I will not forsake Jesus Christ my Saviour and Lord. Please remember us in your prayers so that we stand strong in faith and all our daily needs are met. God bless”
Bro. Anant Ram Gand (40) is survived by his wife Sis. Sukbati Gand (38 yrs) and 5 children – namely,
Dhanomati Gand, 13 yrs (F)
Purnima Gand, 11 yrs (F)
Purno Gand, 6 yrs (M)
Hemobai Gand, 3 yrs (F)
Kemiti Gand, 2 yrs (F)
In 2018, Odisha recorded 20 anti-Christians attacks, making it the 6th most hostile state in India. Notorious Odisha has once again become a battleground on account of religion.
20 years ago, 58-year old Graham Staines, an inspiring man of God, who worked among the socially outcast lepers, and his sons — Philip, 11, and Timothy, 7 — were burnt alive by religious fanatics, in their station wagon in Manoharpur, Keonjhar district, Odisha, India.
Since 2016 – 2018, 11 Christians have been martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ, in India.
In 2018, Persecution Relief recorded 477 incidents of violence against Christians.
In January 2019, 45 incidents of persecution have been recorded so far.
The killing of another innocent man, in the name of religion, will remain an ugly blot on the conscience of India.
Many servants of God work in hostile situations like this across India and it is the responsibility of every Church to pray for these servants of God and for the believers that they may stand strong in their faith and that none should be lost.
Let us be united in one Spirit and stand with the Persecuted Church in India, in an hour like this!
Church, please uphold the grieving family in your prayers. Pray for the peace of God, for solidarity and forgiveness to be displayed in their lives.
Persecution Relief has undertaken to support the family, to meet the livelihood expenses of the family on a monthly basis. On the request of Sis. Sukbati Gand, every effort is being made to relocate this family away from this hostile environment.
If you are led to support this family, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp on + 91 9993200020.
Persecution Relief wishes to withhold personal information to protect the victims of Christian Persecution, hence names and places have been changed. Please know that the content and the presentation of views are the personal opinion of the persons involved and do not reflect those of Persecution Relief. Persecution Relief assumes no responsibility or liability for the same. All Media Articles posted on our website, are not edited by Persecution Relief and is reproduced as generated on the respective website. The views expressed are the Authors/Websites own. If you wish to acquire more information, please email us at: email@example.com or reach us on WhatsApp: +91 9993200020