A body of a seven-year-old boy in India was retrieved from a pond last week, revealing horrific details of torture; past threats and persecutions of the family for their Christian faith indicate that the boy was targeted.
According to a statement released by Gospel For Asia, Anmol was reported missing after attending Sunday School at a Believers Church on Nov. 17 in northern India. His parents filed a missing persons report with local authorities. His body was found the following day, and his parents identified their child's body at the hospital.
"The unprecedented torture and death of this innocent child sadden our hearts incredibly," said Dr. K.P. Yohanna, Gospel for Asia founder and international director, according to a statement released by GFA. "Persecution of Christians is a weekly occurrence, but this intensity of brutality against a child is unthinkable. In this horrible tragedy, we find strength and hope in Jesus."
The boy's face was burned, his hands were slashed and destroyed by fire, and his mouth was tied up. Hot fragments of coal or firewood had been placed on his stomach, burning his abdomen, and his toes were broken.
Autopsy reports came back indicating Anmol's final cause of death was drowning.
Over 200 people attended the funeral. "The wail of the people and the parents was heartbreaking," said an Indian official, the GFA reported. "It was truly a painful and intolerable incident. The kidnapers had tortured the child in such an inhuman way. It was very clear that he was brutally killed."
While no details of the murder has been identified, the authorities are investigating the tragedy. The family's persecution has began since 2003 when the boy's father, Harish, converted to Christianity after witnessing a miraculous healing of his brother.
His conversion happened when at least 45 others also decided to follow Jesus, which sparked an ongoing persecution in the community.
While GFA did not report on who the persecutors were, the Christian ministry called for believers to pray for the consolation of the Anmol's parents, brother and sister, grieving extended family members, and that the persecutors would come to know the love of Christ, and for the protection of all believers.