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Published on 20 May, 2005

Missionary killer gets life, not death.

India (MNN)–The man accused of murdering missionary Graham Staines and his two sons six years ago will not face the death sentence.

The Austrailian missionary, and his sons, aged 8 and 11 years old, were sleeping in their vehicle when it was surrounded by a mob. The mob set fire to the vehicle and prevented the Staines from escaping.

The attackers accused Mr Staines of forcibly converting poor Hindus in Orissa to Christianity. However, the deaths were thought to be one of the worst acts of violence against Christians, and provoked outrage in Parliament.

Published reports indicate the Orissa High Court yesterday reduced Dara Singh’s sentence to life imprisonment.

Seven other men convicted of the murders in January 1999 were ordered released during the appeal court hearing in Bhubaneshwar.

Government authorities, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, will ask the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty.

The case drew attention to the missionary work the Staines were involved with. Following his death, January 22, 1999, his widow, Gladys, stayed on for the completion of a Christian hospital for leprosy patients in Orissa.

The facility now stands as a monument to the family’s faith in the Savior they shared with the people in East India.

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About India

  • Primary Language: Hindi
  • Primary Religion: Hinduism
  • Evangelical: 2.2%
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