“Please be in prayer for his family, for the cause of Christ he has been martyred. He is now in the presence of Our God!”
Religious persecution targeting minority Christians is on the increase in India.
On July 15, the pastor of a church was shot dead by two motorcycle assailants at Salem Tabri village, in the northern part of the country.
Sultan Masih, 50, was standing outside the church and talking to someone on his mobile phone, when two armed youths with their faces covered shot at the pastor from a close range, police said.
The pastor had been hit by multiple bullets. He was rushed to a local hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
A case has been filed and the police are scanning the CCTV footage from near the church in an attempt to identify the attackers.
Death threats for preaching
The son of a church leader shot dead in north-western India on Saturday has revealed that his father had received threats that if he continued to preach, he would be killed.
Alisha Masih, 22, who is also training to be a pastor, said his father, Sultan, had received threats (from unknown sources) via WhatsApp and Facebook. He added that his father had recently asked a friend to pray for him in light of these threats.
The pastor had been serving at the ‘The Temple of God Church’ church for years. His son Rahul Masih said his father, had been living here for the last 30 years and had no enmity with anybody.
Martyred for the cause of Christ
In a statement by Help and Hands, a charity working in India, “Three days ago Pastor Sultan Masih from Ludhiana was shot dead in front of his church. Ludhiana is located in Punjab state in Northern India. Pastor Sulthan had an amazing testimony of God’s grace and favor from very humble beginnings in a slum to one of the fastest growing church in Ludhiana. Please be in prayer for his family, for the cause of Christ he has been martyred. He is now in the presence of Our God!”
Christian persecution on the increase
Christianity is India’s third most followed religion according to the census of 2011, with approximately 28 million followers, constituting 2.3 percent of India’s population.
India is experiencing an escalation of attacks on its Christian minority over the past two years usually led by Hindu nationalists acting largely with impunity.