India: Christian convert dies after forced to stand in a freezing pond

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A 50-year-old Christian convert perishes as he was forced to stand in a pond of freezing water. The victim Bartu Urwan and his wife were tortured by forced to stand in the freezing pond in a remote town in India. The Christian couple had to stand in the pond for 17 hours for refusing to renounce Christianity.

Christians in India

At least 10 years ago, Bartu Urawn had converted to Christianity along with his family. The Christian family was facing pressure to reconvert to the native religion- Sarna Dharam. Bartu Urawn’s son Beneswar stated that his parents were made to stand in the freezing pond for more than half a day. “The villagers kept asking my father if he is ready to forsake Christ and return to the Sarna fold. He reiterated every time, ‘I will not deny Christ. … I will continue to believe until my last breath.’”

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“All throughout the night, they were in the cold water shivering and I, along with 15 to 20 villagers, were witness to the brutality,” Beneswar Urawn said. As a result, the villagers immersed the Christian husband and wife in the freezing cold water around 5 p.m. until 10 a.m. the next day. Consequently, Bartu suffered from a major nerve damage and passed away on January 20. “I was away and on my return, they made me sit outside the pond and watch my parents die.”

Further detailing the persecution, Beneswar said that explained that altogether ten families had converted to Christianity over a period of ten years. Subsequently, they failed to bear the pressure to reconvert to the native religion, seven family gave in to the demands and quit their faith in Christ.

Bartu Urawn, was facing augmented pressure since last three years. Last year, villagers abducted him and forced him to attend one of their tribal worship services. The villagers forced him to eat of the meat of an animal they had sacrificed during their worship.