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ICC Note:

New reports claim that a pastor murdered by gunmen in India received threats to his life unless he stopped preaching the Christian gospel. According to close relatives, Pastor Sultan Masih received threats from armed groups because of his preaching. Pastor Masih continued preaching despite the threat to his life and on July 14 he was shot and killed. Attacks on Christians by radical groups in India have dramatically increased in recent years. In 2016, ICC documented over 360 attacks on Christians. So far, 2017 has showed a continued escalation in anti-Christian violence. 

08/03/2017 India (Christian Daily) – A church pastor who was murdered in Ludhiana in India’s Punjab state on July 14 had repeatedly received warnings from armed groups to stop preaching the Christian gospel and was even pressured on the phone and the internet, according to his son.

Pastor Sultan Masih was reportedly shot in the leg, face, and chest by two gunmen on a motorbike while speaking on the phone outside the Temple of God Church in Ludhiana. Alisha Masih, 22, who is currently a trainee pastor, said his father was told that he would be killed if he continued to evangelize in India, the Express relayed.

“Our father was a courageous man and he was never afraid to die for Jesus,” Alisha said of his slain father. “He has put the same zeal in us. Our family will continue to serve God.”

In May, Alisha said a group of men approached his father after their church’s anniversary celebration and asked him where he got the money used in the event. They also inquired if they would get money for converting, but the pastor turned them down and said he would only accept those who truly believe in Jesus.

As for the phone call Pastor Masih received right before he was killed, Alisha said they do not know if it had anything to do with the crime. However, he is sure that the perpetrators were watching his father closely because “they waited for the time until he was alone.”

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