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World News

Christian man burnt to death by his own family in India

by Alex Collett

An evangelist has been burnt to death by his own family and local villagers in the Bankura district of West Bengal, India.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) sources have named the victim as Madhavan - he lived in the village of Gobindapur in the Jhargram district of West Bengal.

Madhavan was working under a local evangelist named Tanmoy Shaikh in Bankura district and was the sole convert to Christianity in his extended family.

When he went to visit his family for a wedding in early August, his children destroyed his Bible and verbally harassed him, sources told CSW. 

His family also reportedly pressured him to denounce his faith before the wedding, however Madhavan refused to do so.

As a result of this, Madhavan's own wife and son came into the church in Bankura where he was and proceeded to beat him badly and take him home. 

He was then dragged into a nearby forest by his family members and locals who poured petrol over him and burnt him alive. 

CSW's founder president Mervyn Thomas said: "CSW forcefully condemns the gruesome murder of the evangelist Madhavan. 

"It is deeply disappointing to see that the police officials haven't even registered a complaint, let alone taken any action in response to this egregious act. 

"We urge the government of West Bengal and the central government of India to ensure that justice is served in this case and that the perpetrators do not enjoy the impunity that often surrounds such crimes in India."

The police refused to take any action in response to the murder, citing that the issue was a family problem and they didn't want to interfere, sources also told CSW. 

Hostility to Christians is common in the West Bengal region, and therefore no villagers were willing to speak about the killing.

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