NEW DELHI – Relatives of a pastor who was found dead in a secluded area in eastern Orissa state’s Kandhamal district last week have accused local police of a cover-up.
The body of Saul Pradhan, a 45-year-old independent pastor whose house was burned by Hindu extremists two years ago, was found near a pond in Pakala village in Kandhamal’s Raikia Block on Jan. 11 and bore marks of assault, Catholic activist Ajay Singh told Compass.
“I spoke to the widow of the pastor, and she told me that the hands and legs of the deceased looked twisted, and there was blood in his mouth. His pants were also torn,” Singh said by phone from Orissa’s capital, Bhubaneswar. “Why should it not arouse suspicion when Pastor Pradhan was last seen with two Hindu men, Marda Pradhan and Baiju Mallick, who were among the rioters who burned houses of Christians in 2008?” more >>
The Supreme Court of India upheld the life sentence of a Hindu man on Friday, convicted of burning to death an Australian missionary and his two sons 11 years ago.
Dara Singh, who was linked to extreme right-wing Hindu group Bajrang Dal was initially handed the death sentence in a previous trial, but an appeal had the verdict reduced.
A high court judge stated that though the crime was highly condemned, it did not fall in the category of “the rarest of the rare” to warrant the death sentence. more >>
Over 740 million Indians live in rural, impoverished villages. The majority of the population lives on less than $2.50 a day. Yet despite their poverty, a few have found a way to give, to the Lord that is, inspiring others with much more to do the same.
Every night, a Christian mother living in India takes a handful of uncooked rice and places it in a small cloth bag. When the bag is full, the rice is taken to their local church as the family’s tithe, or as an offering to God.
Moved by these faithful Christians halfway across the world, Mission India, founded by John F. DeVries in 1970, is challenging children all over the world to put their own small “offering” – in the form of loose change – into rice bags every night for four weeks. more >>
An Indian Christian leader was almost killed in an attack Sunday night by Hindu extremists during a prayer service in the city of Davangere.
Pastor Isaac Samuel, coordinator of the Global Council of Indian Christians, was seriously injured when he was hit between his neck and shoulder with a cleaver, in front of his wife and two sons, as he led the meeting.
He was taken to Chigateri hospital for treatment. He had to undergo a blood transfusion and receive twelve stitches to close the wound. more >>
The founder of a large ministry in India that rescues orphans and abandoned children died on Saturday, the ministry reported.
Dr. M.A. Thomas, founder of Hopegivers International, passed away at the age of 74. Thomas had suffered a stroke in December 2008 that left him paralyzed on his right side, which affected his right eye, arm, leg and ability to swallow and speak. He also suffered from several bouts of pneumonia since then.
“Papa’s suffering has finally come to an end. Please join his family and friends as we thank God for a life that was so completely sold out to God; a life that daily breathed in God’s grace and exhaled prayers for thanksgiving for an opportunity to serve the God of the universe,” stated Hopegivers International in its announcement Saturday. more >>
As part of observing World AIDS Day on December 1, World Vision India organized a campaign to raise awareness about the rights of people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
The campaign involved a float carrying awareness messages and stories of people living positive lives in spite of HIV.
"The stories were of their lives, their struggles and their dreams for their future. Through these stories, the message that there is life beyond HIV was conveyed," World Vision, an international Christian relief and development agency, stated. more >>