Remembering Missionary Graham Staines, children Timothy , Philips burnt alive on 23rd January 1999 in India
In the intervening night of 22 January and 23 January 1999, Manoharpur hit newspaper headlines when Graham Staines, a 58-year-old Australian Christian missionary, was burnt to death along with his two sons – 10-year-old Phillips and 7-year-old Timothy. Staines and his sons were sleeping in their station wagon in front of a church in the village, when the car was attacked by a mob.
The mob was led by Dara Singh, a local leader with alleged links to Bajrang Dal. It was a landmark moment in India, revealing fissures in its secular history and uncovering a narrative of ugly violence against Christians in India.
Graham Staines was a Christian missionary who worked with leprosy patients in Mayurbhanj district in Odisha for nearly 30 years. He had come to India from Australia in 1965 and had never left the country. The family had opened a leprosy home in Baripada and his work among adivasis and lepers was well-known. News of his death caused distraught to those who knew him in Baripada, according to India Today.