Christian Torturously Slain for his Witness

Pastor Sadavir’s wife and two of his three children

Brother "Sadavir" regularly shared his faith among members of India's Koya tribe in the thick forest of the Dantewada district. It eventually cost the husband and father of three his life.

Fearing the loss of their cultural identity, members of the Koya tribe attacked Brother Sadavir in 2010 and then again in 2012. Despite these previous attacks, Sadavir's ministry faithfully continued -- until a knock on his door at 1 a.m. took place on January 22nd. When his wife "Jani" opened the door, she was confronted by an angry mob of 200 people. The mob was composed of both Koyas and Naxalites, members of India's Communist guerrilla groups. Before she could say anything, the mob forcibly entered the home, grabbing Sadavir and taking him away. Jani frantically ran after the group into the forest, pleading for her husband's safety and release. "We will not do anything to him," she was told. "Go, and in the morning get food for him and come to our camp."

The next morning, Jani, joined by Sadavir's mother and sisters, began the long walk to the camp, finally arriving at about 1:30 p.m. At the camp, the Naxalite leaders were told by others affiliated with the mob, "(Sadavir) is converting all of our people to Christianity by bribing them, and he's giving all your information to the police." The abductors then tied the Christian man to a tree and -- in front of his wife, mother and sisters -- began beating his legs with bamboo sticks while accusing, "You are spoiling our culture by converting our people to Christians!" They beat him until his flesh was hanging from his bones. Then they killed him by piercing his chest with a trishula, a three-pronged spear and an important Hindu symbol.

The killers initially kept Sadavir's body, out of fear that his wife would notify the police. When Jani begged them for her husband's body, they finally gave in under one condition: that the body would be burned, not buried, as his murderers wanted no evidence of the crime. VOM is now supporting the 27-year-old widow and her three children during this difficult time as they deal with the aftermath of such horrendous trauma and loss.

Please lift up in prayer this mourning widow and her three young children, as well as other loved ones who are sharing their immense grief, asking the Lord to personally minister to each one of them through the power of His Holy Spirit. Also request that every need of this suffering family be sovereignly met through the support of the local community and ministries like VOM. Additionally, ask that this gruesome attack will somehow be used for God's glory and as a means of drawing more Koya people into a saving relationship with His beloved Son Jesus.

For more information on India's persecuted church, visit this page.