Christians in India’s northwest remain in shock following the murder of a pastor in the city of Ludhiana located in Punjab state. Pastor Sultan Masih was shot multiple times by masked assailants riding a motorbike as he stood outside his church talking on his mobile phone. Following the shooting, Pastor Masih was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have dramatically increased in both number and severity since the rise of the BJP-led government in 2014. Will the perpetrators of the brutal attack be brought to justice?
07/17/2017 India (World Watch Monitor) – The Christian community in Ludhiana, the largest city in India’s north-western state of Punjab, is in shock after a pastor was shot dead outside his Pentecostal church on Saturday evening (15 July).
Sultan Masih, 47, who also ran a school for the poor, was gunned down by two people on a motorbike, who shot him at close range outside the Temple of God Church, where he was senior pastor. He suffered multiple wounds to his body and head.
Hundreds of Christians took to the streets on Sunday (16 July), blocking off a major national highway (the road to Jalandhar) for three hours, and only ceasing once they had received assurances from the police that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
“Pastor Sultan Masih was my neighbor and my friend,” fellow pastor Paul Tamizharasan told World Watch Monitor following the funeral today (17 July).
“Family members are grieving and we hope the government will catch the accused. We demand answers and have gone to the Punjab government, but they couldn’t find who did this.
“The state of Punjab is very safe in India for Christians. There are Sikhs living here – they are also a religious minority in India. We are also a minority, but never before have we had any threats. But unfortunately this has happened and we are all shocked about how this is possible. Nobody knows how this can happen.