Indian pastor beaten to death; wife says husband is ‘Martyr for his faith’

Monday, July 5, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A pastor in India’s Haryana state was beaten to death on June 30 after sharing the “love and forgiveness of Christ” with a man who then murdered him, Morning Star News reports. India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

A former Hindu who gave his life to Christ 25 years ago, Pastor Vinod Kumar was killed by Sonu Kashyap, a Hindu of Sangoi village in Karnal District, MSN said. On the evening of his death, Pastor Kumar led worship at his house church before receiving a call from Kashyap’s brother, asking him to visit a sick villager, MSN reports. The pastor attended to the sick person and was about to get on his motorcycle and return home when he was ambushed by Kashyap at around 8 pm.

“[Kashyap] attacked Vinod unaware from behind,” Pastor Kumar’s wife Sunita Kuma told MSN. “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, who had been Pastor Kumar’s mentor, told MSN that neighbors found his former mentee lying dead as Kashyap stood by holding a wooden beam. Police were called and the pastor’s body was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Kashyap was a suspected criminal who had been released on bail at the time of the murder, and police have made only a brief mention of “animosity” as being a possible motive for the killing, MSN said. However, Sunita Kumar said the pastor had been sharing the Gospel with Kashyap for about 10 weeks, and she thought this may have angered him to the point of murder.

“I have resolved to carry on the work my husband was doing," said Sunita Kumar, the wife of the slain pastor. "And I want to live his dream out. Vinod became a martyr for his faith, and I too will die for my faith.”