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Man with his head in his hands
Pray that believers will sense the comforting presence of God’s Holy Spirit who grieves with them in their loss.

Pastor Yallam Shankar was at home in Angampalli, Chhattisgarh, on March 17th when five masked men suddenly burst in. After dragging the pastor from his home, the attackers stabbed him to death outside. The slain man is survived by his wife, two sons and grandchildren.

In addition to serving as a senior pastor of a church within the village, Pastor Yallam was an influential member and former leader of the community. According to Christians in the area, he had been receiving death threats from Hindu nationalists just days before the attack because of his ministry activities. He also received threats from violent Maoist rebels known as Naxalites, who were distributing pamphlets in the region along with a warning that any pastors who converted people to Christianity would be killed.

A handwritten note was found at the crime scene accusing Pastor Yallam of being a police informant. Although the Naxalites allegedly claimed responsibility for the killing, local Christians suspect that Pastor Yallam's attackers may have been local Hindu nationalists instead. To read reports of other persecution-related incidents in India, indicating an increased number of violent cases against the country's Christians, visit our country report.

Pray for Pastor Yallam's wife and family as they now mourn the sudden loss of their loved one, asking the Lord to comfort and strengthen them with His reassuring presence – filling their troubled hearts with His peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Also prayerfully uphold the members of Pastor Yallam's church family and others of the community who are likewise trying to process the loss of their esteemed friend and leader. May those responsible for the attack be brought to justice and, of even greater importance, experience the life-transforming power of the Gospel as Christians in the community continue to faithfully serve as testaments of God's love and forgiveness.

Current Ministry Projects

In addition to providing persecuted Christians legal support and rehabilitation assistance, VOMC cares for children of martyrs by ensuring they have a safe home in which to be nurtured both physically and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and offers specialized ministry to further strengthen and support marginalized, persecuted Christian women.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defence, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

Leader
President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.

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