Barnabas Fund, 20 February 2019
A Christian father of five was beheaded on 11 February in Odisha state, eastern India, because of his Christian faith.
Anant Gand, 40, became a Christian 9 months ago. His recent baptism angered locals in his village, said local Christian leader Shibu Thomas. His execution-style murder was carried out by Maoist Naxalites at the behest of local extremists.
Anant’s 6-year-old son witnessed his father being dragged out of their home by three men on the day he was killed. Anant’s wife and four young daughters were not at home at the time of the abduction.
Anant’s body and severed head were later found on a nearby road.
Naxalites are communist guerrilla groups in India. They killed Pastor Gurumurthy Madi in August 2015 in Odisha, because he would not hand over a fellow Christian pastor who had previously been a Naxalite. Another Christian leader was killed by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh state in the same month.