VOM Korea Helping the Family of Martyred Samaru Madkami
Odisha is the region where Samaru's death took place. It is a hotbed for Christian persecution.
Police in Odisha State, India claim that the June death by stoning of a 16-year old boy was caused not by his conversion to Christianity but by suspicions that the boy’s father, a pastor, was a sorcerer who allegedly caused the deaths of 16 villagers.
The claim is the latest turn in a case that has drawn the attention of Christians globally. Voice of the Martyrs Korea is one of several international Christian organizations that is raising concern over the police report and the rising level of anti-Christian violence in the area.
“Odisha State, formerly known as Orissa, has long been a hotbed of anti-Christian violence,” says Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley. “Twelve years ago more than 100 Christians were killed and 300 churches destroyed as the result of a public campaign to strengthen Hindu nationalism and raise suspicions against Christians. Most of those committing acts of violence were either never arrested by police or they were acquitted by the courts. Now police are attempting to blame the death of Samaru Madkami on baseless suspicions about his father rather than admitting that anti-Christian violence is on the rise again. It is important for the general public, and especially for Christians around the world, to be aware of this pattern of blame shifting because it can rapidly escalate to the level of violence against Christians that happened in Odisha twelve years ago.”
16-year-old Samaru Madkami from Kendukuda village, Malkangiri district, Odisha, India, who was crushed to death with stones on June 4, 2020.
Voice of the Martyrs Korea has been working in partnership with a local Indian Christian NGO to provide financial aid and general support for Samaru’s family and two other related Christian families who were forced to flee from their village due to Samaru’s death. Representative Foley says that the families are frightened to return home three months after the attack and have been resettled in another location for their safety. Voice of the Martyrs Korea also supports 23 orphans in Odisha State whose parents were victims of the earlier wave of violence against Christians.
Through your donations, we were able to send over 1,900,000 KRW to India to support the orphans in Odisha State and over 1,600,000 KRW to the three families who were forced to flee their village as a result of Samaru’s death. As a part of the support for the three families, we were able to provide them with basic necessities and food.