Seven-year-old Anmol laughed and played; he sang songs and learned Bible stories at Sunday school—and later, he was cruelly tortured and killed for being a Christian.
The last time Anmol’s parents saw their son alive was right before he left for Sunday school November 17. Anmol never returned home that day. His mother and his father, Harish, assumed he had gone to play with his friends, like he had done in the past. But when he didn’t come home, they began to worry.
Harish filed a missing persons report with the local police Monday, November 18. That same evening, police received a call about a child’s body seen floating in a nearby pond. When Anmol’s parents heard the news, they rushed to the hospital, where the body was taken, and identified the dead child as their son.
A photo of Anmol taken a couple years ago.
“It was very clear he was brutally murdered,” reported field correspondent, Jayana. “[The murderer] had tortured the child in such an inhuman way. . .”
Evidence suggests Anmol’s neck was cut, toes were broken and hands were slashed and burned. His face was burned, as well, while hot fragments of coal or firewood were placed on Anmol’s stomach, burning his abdomen. His mouth was also found tied. Autopsy reports came back indicating Anmol’s final cause of death was drowning.
Details identifying the murderer are unconfirmed while investigations take place.
“It's unthinkable that this would happen to a little child like this,” said K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director of Gospel for Asia. “Persecution against Christians is an ongoing matter that we see happening every week. In fact, it’s increased by 400 percent in the last several years, but the killing of a little child like this is unheard of. Our people are already there to comfort and meet the needs of the family.”
Harish with his wife, daughter, remaining son and two of his brothers. Pastor Ruben continues to minister to the family during this time.
Harish held Anmol’s funeral Tuesday, November 19. Around 200 believers gathered for the ceremony, including the local GFA pastor, Ruben.
“The wail of the people and the parents was truly heartbreaking to see,” Jayana said. “It was truly a painful and intolerable incident.”
Anmol’s family has been a main target for persecution since 2003, when Harish made the decision to live for Jesus Christ after witnessing the miraculous healing of his older brother who had been sick for a long time. Along with Harish, 45 other people came to know the saving grace of Jesus and were added to the church because of this healing. Later, Harish’s distant relatives also believed in the power of Christ through Harish’s witness. Today, Harish is considered “one of the strong believers of our church,” Jayana said.
Because of the large number of people coming to know Christ as their Savior, persecution has since broken out in this community.
Around 200 believers gathered for Anmol’s funeral.
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