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Witnesses warmly greet one another at a special program held in Kerala, India, on November 4, 2023


UPDATE—Death Toll Rises to Eight in India Tragedy

UPDATE—Death Toll Rises to Eight in India Tragedy

On Saturday, December 2, 2023, a 76-year-old brother, who served as an elder and regular pioneer, died from the injuries he suffered during the explosions in Kerala, India. Sadly, five days later, on Thursday, December 7, his beloved wife, who also served as a regular pioneer, died of injuries she suffered during the blast. In total, eight of our brothers and sisters have died as a result of this horrific act.

On Sunday, October 29, 2023, multiple explosions occurred at a regional convention held in Kerala, India. Sadly, in addition to the three deaths already reported, another brother and two sisters have died. Among these were the mother and brother of the 12-year-old girl who died previously. Additionally, 11 brothers and sisters remain hospitalized.

To provide much-needed comfort and encouragement to those affected by this attack, the India branch received approval to arrange a special meeting, which was held on November 4, 2023. Brothers and sisters from the 21 congregations assigned to the convention where the explosions took place were invited to attend. The program originated from a local Kingdom Hall, where almost 200 were present. Another 1,300 connected to the program via videoconference, and a recording was made available to those who remained hospitalized. One elder from the branch office discussed Psalm 23:1 and highlighted Jehovah’s personal concern for each of his servants: “In this verse, the psalmist does not say Jehovah is a shepherd or even a fantastic shepherd. The psalmist refers to Jehovah as ‘my shepherd.’ What a comfort to know that Jehovah is personally interested in each of us!”

Sisters lovingly comfort one another

A brother who was present when the explosions occurred admitted to having difficulty sleeping. Despite this, he volunteered to assist those still in the hospital. He said: “Observing their faith and positive outlook helped me to forget my own worries. Despite their injuries and the pain they were in, many were joyfully singing Kingdom songs.” Another brother remarked: “It may take a long time for some of these dear ones to return to their normal routines. Even still, I know our brotherhood will continue showering them with love. I am confident that our caring God has taken hold of each of them with his powerful hand. It is so encouraging!”

As a united worldwide family, we find comfort and reassurance in knowing that Jehovah is continuing to ‘heal the brokenhearted and bind up the wounds’ of our dear brothers and sisters in India.—Psalm 147:3.