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News / Thoughts

India: Young Christian woman found dead

July 18, 2016

Samjheera (20) from Dumra, Latehar District in Jharkhand State, India, was found dead in a jungle near her village on 14 June. Local Christians suspect the girl was killed because of her Christian faith.

According to her church pastor, Philip Tirkey, Samjheera became interested in the Christian faith after she was healed of an illness two years ago when she prayed to Jesus. She had recently been preparing to be baptised.

However, the pastor says that Samjheera’s uncle and cousins had strongly opposed her decision to convert to Christianity. She had often shared with church members that her relatives were threatening to kill her if she refused to deny her faith in Jesus.

When Samjheera’s dead body was found in the jungle near her home, her relatives said that she had gone to the jungle to collect fruit; they claim that she fell from a tree and the injuries had caused her death. However, many in the village, including non-Christians, suspect that she was murdered because there were no marks on her body indicating a fall. According to one local villager, there was a mark around her neck that suggested strangulation. Her body was burnt according to Hindu rituals the day she died.

“Police were not involved and there was no opportunity given for investigation. Because she had been continuously threatened by her relatives with being killed if she converted to Christianity, we believe that she was murdered,” says Pastor Philip Tirkey.

Act and pray now…

Open Doors works through local partners in India to provide persecuted Christians with Bibles and Christian literature, holistic training, livelihood and community development, adult literacy programmes, vocational education, advocacy support, legal seminars, and urgent aid and relief.

Pray: Use the prayer points below. You could show the video below in your church or small group, and ask them to pray for Christians in India too.

Speak out: The Indian constitution assures all citizens of the right to ‘profess, practise and propagate any religion’, yet Christians in India are frequently denied this right. Write to the Indian High Commission and urge them to raise these concerns with the Indian government. Speak up now by doing Point 2 on this page…

Meena and Sunita’s story….

Pray now…

  • For protection and strength for new Christians in India, particularly those with family members who oppose their new faith
  • For comfort for Samjheera’s friends and family
  • That God will continue to use the church in Samjheera’s village to reach out with the love of Jesus
  • That the Indian government will do more to protect minorities, including Christians.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.