Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pastor shot in Bihar, India

bihar This afternoon, Compass Direct released a report of a violent attack on a pastor in the eastern Indian state of Bihar in an attempt to stop his evangelistic work. Here is a summary:

In an effort to stop conversions to Christianity in the eastern state of Bihar, a 25-year-old ailing man on Sunday (March 8) exploded a crude bomb in a church and shot the pastor. Police Inspector Hari Krishna Mandal told Compass that the attacker, Rajesh Singh, had come fully prepared to kill the pastor, Vinod Kumar, in Baraw village in the Nasriganj area of Rohtas district, and then take his own life. Church members caught Singh before he could kill himself or others. At press time the 35-year-old pastor was out of danger of losing his life, according to a leader of Gospel Echoing Missionary Society (GEMS) who requested anonymity. The church, Prarthana Bhawan (House of Prayer), belongs to GEMS. “In his statement, Singh said he was personally against Christian conversions and wanted to kill the pastor to stop conversions,” Mandal said. Asked if Singh had any links with extremist Hindu nationalist groups, the inspector said no such organization was active in the area, though local Christians say Hindu extremist presence in the area has increased recently. The GEMS source said the incident could have been fallout from conversions in nearby Mithnipur village, where a Hindu family had received Christ after being healed from a mental illness around six months ago. Singh also lives in Mithnipur. Additionally, the source said, people allegedly linked with a Hindu nationalist group had sent a threatening letter to the pastor, asking him to stop preaching in the area. (click here to read the full report)

Please remember Brother Kumar in your prayers.  Pray that gospel will continue to spread in this region.  This is yet another example of how persecution will inevitably accompany the work of evangelism.  It is not so much that evangelism takes place because of persecution, but when God's people faithfully witness to His saving grace, persecution is often the result.

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