Pastor killed at church by masked men on motorbikes in India

Pastor killed at church by masked men on motorbikes in India

The man was shot by men on motorbikes (Stock image)

Monday, July 17, 2017

A pastor of a church in India has been shot dead by masked men travelling on motorbikes.

Pastor Sultan Masih was killed at the Temple of God Church in Ludhiana, a city in the state of Punjab, on Saturday (July 15), Christian Today reported.

Two boys were nearby at the time and saw the incident. They informed the family of the pastor, however by the time relatives arrived at the hospital he was declared dead.

CCTV captured the attack, however the perpetrators are not identifiable due to the poor quality of the lighting.

A protest was held on Sunday morning (July 16) and roads were blocked for more than five hours as they called for justice to be done.​

The British Asian Christian Association reports that local people believe it was a hate crime because the persecution of Christians in India has been increasing.

The association claims Hindu nationalists are leading the attacks as concern has grown since Narendra Modi was elected as president in 2014.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Asian Christian Association, has said: "This unprovoked attack on a Christian Pastor before many members of his congregation is an attack on religious freedom.

"It resonates with the hatred Christians face on a daily basis in a nation that is becoming increasingly polarised under Modi's government.

"Increasing attacks on Christians in India are a cause for international concern, yet since ending the 10-year diplomatic boycott of Narendra Mohdi in 2012, Britain has forged strong diplomatic ties with him fermenting an unwillingness to condemn the known human rights atrocities under his regime."