Pastor in Northern India Killed for His Faith, Sources Say
Ferocity of attack indicates anti-Christian motive, wife and Christian leaders say.
NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – A suspected criminal recently released on bail in northern India killed a pastor on Wednesday (June 30) for sharing the “love and forgiveness of Christ” with him, sources said.
Sonu Kashyap, a Hindu of Sangoi village in Karnal District, Haryana state, attacked pastor Vinod Kumar with a wooden roof truss at about 8 p.m., sources said.
After leading online worship at his house church that evening, the pastor received a call from Kashyap’s brother to visit a sick villager and was attacked as he was about to leave the ill person’s home, Pastor Kumar’s wife said. Sunita Kumar said Kashyap was waiting in ambush as her husband was about to start his motorbike.
“He attacked Vinod unaware from behind,” she told Morning Star News. “He hit him hard on his head three times even after he fell from the motorbike. He hit him till his skull broke open.”
Senior Pastor Sompal Kalre, the slain church leader’s mentor who led him to Christ 25 years ago, said neighbors found Kashyap standing with the wooden beam in his hand as Pastor Kumar lay dead. They immediately informed police.
“But before the police arrived, the villagers caught hold of Sonu and started hitting him,” Pastor Kalre said. “The police arrived in time and rescued Sonu from the hands of the angry villagers, or else the mob would have killed him.”
They took the pastor’s body to a nearby hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Pastor Kumar was a Hindu before putting his faith in Christ. While police have made only terse mention of “animosity” as a motive for the killing, Sunita Kumar said the pastor had been talking about God with Kashyap for two-and-a-half months, and that she believed this upset him.
“Kashyap had also visited our home to get himself prayed for,” she said, adding that Kashyap had requested the pastor pray for his deliverance from drug addiction. “I do not know what came upon him that he took such a drastic step of killing Vinod so brutally.”
Station Head Officer Baljeet Singh of Sadar police station told Morning Star News that the motive for the killing “was some trivial animosity, and further interrogation is underway,” and that he could not comment further.
“In fact, the villagers and the police entered into an argument when the police declared that it was because of personal animosity that Sonu Kashyap killed Pastor Vinod,” Pastor George told Morning Star News. “The villagers retaliated and claimed that it was false.”
“Vinod was the second follower of Christ in the village, after Pastor Sompal, and was unmarried then,” she said. “He has faced opposition many times from his family and the villagers, but one could not imagine that something like this would happen with him.”
Pastor Kalre said 700 to 800 people attended the pastor’s cremation ceremony. Besides the fellowship he began in his village in 1999, Pastor Kumar ministered in 18 villages, and families from these villages attended the church that met in his house.
Source : https://morningstarnews.org/2021/07/pastor-in-northern-india-killed-for-his-faith-sources-say/?fbclid=IwAR2Oo0q4AscThLw-FEdjWHvW2icQjvDl1bCyoQm6WsKUcdSqQYQ-2U30ybQ
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