An Indian pastor was shot dead after baptizing a number of new Christians.
Pastor Salim Stephen Surin, an Indian pastor, died after receiving gunshots from three unidentified suspects on Dec. 8, the International Christian Concern reported. The victim was with his wife were crossing the Rania village of Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district after baptizing new Christian believers when the suspects attacked them for unknown reasons.
In a statement released to the police, Tarsis, the wife of the victim, elaborated what she recalled during the crime. She said she and her husband were riding a motorbike. They were on their way home after baptizing five new Christian believers in Putidka.
Along the road, three unidentified men attacked them. One of the suspects, shot the pastor's chest with a gun, causing him to drop to the ground. Tarsis said the suspects killed her husband in front of her eyes.
"I was terrified seeing my husband collapse having been shot in the chest," the widow said. "I started to think about my children and loudly cried out to God to save me and take care of my [two] children," she added.
Tarsis further stated that one of the three suspects pointed a gun at her. She pushed him and ran away. She managed to escape the assailants and by hiding in the bushes and had to leave her husband's lifeless body behind in order to save her own life and thinking about the two kids.
"I ran into the thick bushes and the nearby forest," Tarsis stated. "I probably walked for more than ten hours to reach my home. I purposely did not take the road to avoid the attackers," she said
The late pastor's body was recovered later that evening as local travelers found his body lying dead on the road. An investigation continues to roll out and the police officials are still trying to find out the motives behind the killing.
Christians in Putidka have received several threats for the past few days, according to reports from the believers in the community. The threats demand them to turn away from their Christian faith.
However, Surin and his wife continued to reach out for more souls in the community. They continued to support new believers and Christians in Putidka.
Christians from various parts of the country also experience persecutions and threats and are challenged to renounce their Christian faith in exchange for their peace. The attacks in some parts of India specifically India's indigenous community and tribal Christians such as Jharkhand and the adjoining Chhattisgarh started to intensify in September.
Previous reports also revealed that a certain group of Radical Hindus demanded the government to deprive Indians who converted to Christianity of essential rights. They urged that government prevent Christian converts from accessing educational assistance and employment opportunities offered to indigenous people in the country.
Christians all over the world are aware of the persecutions that believers in India are going through. A group of Christians recently held a simultaneous prayer for brethren who experience persecution due to their faith in China, Pakistan, and India.