Members of India’s Naxalite political group have killed another evangelist in India’s Odisha state.
Pastor Saanvi had shared the Gospel in villages near his home for the past six years as a bivocational minister, even planting house-churches in two of the villages. Though members of the local Naxalite group, who subscribe to a Marxist-Leninist political philosophy, had repeatedly warned him to stop his ministry work, he continued to tell his neighbours about Jesus.
Then, one evening, the Naxalites appeared at Saanvi’s door and told him to follow them. Sensing something was wrong, his wife, Saisha, followed at a distance, carrying their two children. When she saw her husband tied to a tree, she began pleading with them to let Saanvi go. But instead, they beheaded him in front of her and their children.
In February 2019, Naxalites in Odisha state beheaded a father of five because of his Christian faith. Anant Ram Gand had been a Christian for only nine months before Naxalites killed him at the request of local extremists.
India’s military often targets Naxalites in the country’s more tribal areas because the government considers them to be terrorists. And Christians are often caught in the crossfire, becoming casualties of the ongoing battle.
Pray for the Christians in India.