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Media Contact: William Stark, Regional Manager for Africa RM-AfricaAsia@persecution.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seven-Year-Old Christian Boy Tortured and Murdered for Christian Faith in India
Christian Persecution in India Up 400 Percent
International Christian Concern
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a seven-year-old boy in northern India was brutally tortured and murdered because of his family's Christian faith. This inhumane murder represents just one particularly brutal incident of Christian persecution as anti-Christian sentiments in India continues to grow.
On November 17, Anmol left his home to attend Sunday School at a Believers Church in northern India and never returned. His father, Harish, initially believed that his son had decided to play with friends, but became concerned when Anmol did not return later that night.
The next day, November 18, Harish and his wife filed a missing persons report with the local police. Later that day, police were contacted about a body found floating in a pond, which was later identified at a local hospital by Harish as his son.
"It was very clear he was brutally murdered," reported a field correspondent for Gospel for Asia. "[The murderer] had tortured the child in such an inhuman way. . ."
According to the autopsy, Anmol's face was burned, his hands were slashed and then also burned, his mouth was tied shut, his abdomen burned when hot coals were likely stacked on his bare skin and his toes were broken. The most disturbing fact discovered in the autopsy was that Anmol's final cause of death was not the torture he endured, but was death by drowning.
"It's unthinkable that this would happen to a little child like this," K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director of Gospel for Asia, said in a persecution report. "Persecution against Christians is an ongoing matter that we see happening every week. In fact, it's increased by 400 percent in the last several years, but the killing of a little child like this is unheard of."
Many believe that Anmol was targeted because of his family's Christians faith. According to Gospel for Asia, Anmol's father, Harish, converted to Christianity in 2003 and later became a successful evangelist bringing many people in his area to the Christian faith. Local Hindu radicals had threatened Harish on many occasions, but he could have never imagined the brutality that would be unleashed on his son for his evangelical work.
ICC's Regional Manager, William Stark, said, "Attacks on Christians in India, especially attacks on Christian leaders and new converts, have been dramatically increasing. Members of Hindu radical groups have shown a willingness to use extreme violence to drive Christians out of their villages and keep other Hindus from converting to Christianity. The brutal attack on this young Christian boy is absolutely despicable and must be condemned by all of India's diverse society. In many areas across India, Christians are allowed to be attacked with impunity. The perpetrators of this heinous act must be brought to justice and decisive action must be taken by India to protect Christians' rights to religious freedom."
For interviews, contact William Stark, Regional Manager for Africa: RM-AfricaAsia@persecution.org
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