Family of 9 rescued from burning home in arson attack, Gujarat
Family of 9 were rescued from a massive fire that broke out in Gundi Kheda village in Dahod Taluka, Dohad District of Gujarat State. The blazing fire left rows of burnt wooden supports, as a silent testimony to the raging hatred that is menacingly sweeping across India, against minority communities.
As narrated to Pastor Surya Damor of IFMI (Immanuel Faith Ministries International (IFMI) is a Christian non-denominational missionary) where Bro. Sudhiyabhai. T. Damor have been members – and related to Persecution Relief.
On 17th March, around 3.00 am, as the family slept, it is alleged that unidentified persons poured Petrol into the rear of the house and set it on fire.
Bro. Sudhiyabhai, has been a faithful and devoted Christian for the past 10 years. At around 3.00 am in the morning, as the family was fast asleep, that they were rudely woken up to the shout of “Fire!! Fire!! Get out, Get out!!”
“The entire area was filled with smoke and zero visibility. The fire was very thick and heavy.”
“The safety of my family was my priority”.
The family joined hands to helped put out the fire with precious water that was already scarce in the home.Within minutes, the family home of Bro. Sudhiyabhai was devoured and reduced to ashes.
As his family cleared up the burnt and destroyed property, in a voice that was resolute yet filled with sadness, he said that despite the arson attack and great loss that the family have suffered, he would never give up his faith in Jesus Christ.
“My family and I will rather die than give up our faith in Jesus Christ, in whom we have known such peace and fulfillment”.
“Some of our neighbours have been very jealous of our lifestyle, and how we lived in peace and harmony”.
“They were annoyed that we did not indulge in the village gossip and slander mill or pick quarrels with anyone or indulged in any wrong doing”.
“They hated the fact that I followed a “foreign God” and several times forced me to give up my faith in Jesus Christ.”
While the reason for the fire is currently unknown, it is suspected to be an arson attack by upper-caste villagers and religious fanatics, belonging to the majority-religion, who had threatened and objected to family’s faith in a foreign God.
“I believe that it was a pre-planned arson attack”, said Bro. Sudhiyabhai.
To support this theory, he recalled that on January 15, 2018, he was followed by three unknown individuals who knew his name and where he lived. They threatened himto stop worshipping Jesus Christ or be warned to suffer dire consequences.
Personal savings of Rs. 40,000/- (USD 600) in cash, saved for his daughter’s marriage, silver jewellery and silver utensils (weighing around 2 kilos), motor bike, household vessels, blankets, food stuff, important original documents, 2 mobile phones – have all been lost in the senseless arson attack.
The re-construction of the house is further estimated to cost around Rs. 7 Lakhs (around USD 10,115).
If you would like to support Bro. Sudhiyabhai, to help build his house, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church, pray for peace in the state of Gujarat, which has seen a sudden spike in attacks on Christians in 2019.
Pray for Bro. Sudhiyabhai and family, to remain steadfast in their faith.
Making a conscious decision to reflect the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, the family have collectively decided not to file a Police Complaint but to forgive the perpetrators of this attack.
Separately, the villagers had been threatening him not to go to the Police.
Persecution Relief has recorded more than 477 incidents of persecution in 2018, with 4 in Gujarat.
Church, continue to fast and pray for India.
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