16-YEAR OLD CHRISTIAN IN INDIA STONED TO DEATH BY RADICAL HINDU NATIONALISTS
“SamaruMadkami was a teenager from a very poor background,” says Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley. “He lost his mother at a very young age, so his father alone was parenting him. From the entire village only three families including Samaru’s had converted to the new faith, three years ago. Pastor Kosha Mosaki is engaged in conducting an independent church, ‘Bethel House Church’,with these three families.”
Representative Foley says that Pastor Kosha was threatened by radical Hindu nationalists several times for conducting church services with these three village families. Representative Foley says that the pastor then stopped going to the village to conduct Sunday service.
“Though he was a school going boy, he used to lead the church service at home in the absence of the pastor,” says Representative Foley. “The radical Hindu nationalists attempted to dissuade Samaru from leading worship services.”
Representative Foley says that on June 4 at 9:00 pm, while the Madkami family was asleep and the father was away, radical Hindu nationalists barged into their house and picked up Samaru. They also captured two other Christians on the pretext of attending a meeting at 11:00 pm.
16-year-old Samaru Madkami from Kendukuda village, Malkangiri district, Odisha, India, who was crushed to death with stones on June 4, 2020.
Father and sisters of Samaru Madkami
“The extremists led them to a mountainous terrain,” says Representative Foley. “The other two Christians who were stronger and older escaped from the militants. But Samaru was caught off guard and fell on the ground after a struggle.” Representative Foley says that later, the Hindu extremists chopped his body into pieces and buried parts of his body along the mountainside before fleeing from the spot.
On June 5, a missing person’s report was filed in Malkangiri Police station by the victim’s family. Later, the All India Christian Council local member Pastor Vijay Pusuru helped the victim’s father Mr. Bhanga Madkami to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) that his son was missing. The victim’s family alleged that villagers identified as Deba Madkami, Budra Muchaki, Aaita Kabasi, and Rabu Madi had picked up Samaru. The police arrested them and recovered the buried body.
“The three Christian families, including Samaru’s family, feared for their lives in their village,” says Representative Foley. “Pastor Vijay Pusuru brought the families out of their village and is keeping them in a nearby village for safety.”
Samaru Madkami’s body found crushed by stones, chopped into pieces, and partially buried
Samaru Madkami’s burial
Representative Foley says that Voice of the Martyrs Korea through its network of sister missions has provided financial assistance to the family to help with urgent needs and is continuing to assess the situation and see what other needs arise. “Unfortunately, Samaru is one of a growing number of Christians being persecuted and even martyred in India, as radical Hindu nationalism spreads across the country,” says Representative Foley. Voice of the Martyrs Korea is taking up a special offering to support families of Christian martyrs and prisoners in India through VOMK’s Families of Martyrs/Families of Prisoners (FOM/FOP) fund. Donations given in July to the FOM/FOP fund will be used for India. Interested individuals can give at https://vomkorea.com/en/donate/ or via electronic transfer to:
국민은행 (KB Bank) 463501-01-243303
예금주 (Account Holder): (사)순교자의소리
Please include the name “FOM/FOP” on the donation.