INDIA: Widow of Christian Killed for His Faith Flees Village

04 June 2024

Source: Morning Star News

The young widow of a Christian in India’s Chhattisgarh state who was killed for his faith is living in fear a month after she fled for her life. Fleeing Kapanar village, in Darbha block, she took refuge in a house far from the murder site. The five other Christian families in the village, unable to find her, fled the same day, including elderly parents and young children.

“I saw them kill my husband right before my eyes,” said Jime Kawasi, whose husband, 22-year-old Kosa Kawasi, was slain in Bastar District on 4 May. “I was assaulted, but somehow I managed to escape. I still fear that my husband’s killers will find me and kill me.”

Relatives furious with Kosa Kawasi, killed him after villagers forbade any families with Christian members to participate in tribal festival offerings to local gods, sources said.

Sources report that a mob of about 20 villagers, including Kosa Kawasi’s uncle, Dasru Kawasi, and cousin, Madiya Kawasi, went to his house at 10am and began to argue with him, telling him to renounce Christ. When Kosa Kawasi refused, they began to assault him and his wife.

Despite being beaten, kicked and hit with sticks, Kawasi persisted in his faith, resulting in him being stabbed by his cousin and uncle. Kosa Kawasi’s wife and younger brother, also a Christian fleeing his home, managed to rescue him, took him toward the road and called for an ambulance, but as they were waiting, some people from the mob tried to slit his throat, sources report.

Kosa’s brother and his wife again saved him and carefully continued to carry him away from the ferocious mob. According to sources, his uncle and cousin then got an axe and struck Kosa on the head, killing him instantly. Police arrived after about an hour and took his body.

In the prior few months, Kosa Kawasi faced immense pressure from family members and villagers, including death threats, if he refused to renounce Christ and return to Hinduism, said area Christian leader Santosh Mandavi.

Despite Kosa Kawasi’s repeated complaints to the Darbha Police station about the threats to his life and those of other Christians, authorities took no action, refusing to file a First Information Report, a source said.

Mandavi said he went to Kapanar on 6 May and saw police scattered throughout the village. The police station chief informed him that Jime Kawasi was hospitalised in a Dantewada government hospital [45kms away] for injuries sustained in the assault. The day after the attack, police arrested Dasru Kawasi and Madiya Kawasi on homicide charges, but no further arrests were made, Mandavi said.

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    Pray for them

    Pray for God’s healing comfort to be with the family of Kosa Kawasi as they mourn the loss of their husband and brother.

    Pray for God’s peace and provision for those believers who fled their homes and have lost everything due to this brutal attack.

    Pray for the government of India, that God would intervene on behalf of the believers and frustrate the plans of extremists as they seek to destroy Christian faith in their communities.

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