INDIA – Christian Beaten into Coma by Tribal Animists in Odisha State, India

Morning Star News | April 7, 2020

A young mother and her two children were staring at her husband as he lay unconscious after a mob of 60 villagers in eastern India had stormed their home and beaten him with wooden sticks.
“The children and I tried to wake him up – we thought he had fainted – but there was no response,” Bhimeshwari Sodi told Morning Star News. “We cried out for help, but there was nobody to help us. The neighbors said that he was dead.”
The animist mob, worshippers of the gods of their tribal religion, beat 30-year-old Kama Sodi unconscious in Odisha state’s Kodalmetla village, Malkangiri District on the morning of March 12, she said. They had first attacked him the night before, surrounding his house as he, his wife and children were praying as they would before bed, Bhimeshwari Sodi said. 
Before the attack that night, the hard-line animists had shouted at the family that they would kill them, she said.

“I was able to protect my two small children from their beatings, but my husband was in their clutches,” the 26-year-old Sodi said. “They were beating him very brutally.”

Her children are ages 3 and 6. Sodi pleaded with the assailants to stop and cried for help, but they continued beating him, vowing that they would kill him, she said.

“Even while suffering in their hands, my husband refused to give up his faith,” Sodi told Morning Star News. “They declared that they would allow a chance for him to live if he declared that he had renounced Christ. But my husband declined their offer and chose to suffer.”

During the second attack the morning of March 12, she screamed at the assailants that he would die if they didn’t stop, she said.

“They had beaten him very badly once again,” Sodi said. “They went on until they were sure that he shattered on the floor and stopped responding.”

The assailants threw the family’s food grains and belongings outside and told them to leave the village, she said.

Christian leaders arrived to find Sodi still lying unconscious, area pastor Timuthiyus Elijah told Morning Star News.

“The children and his wife sat around him weeping,” Pastor Elijah said.