A pastor in India's Haryana state was brutally murdered, beaten to death with a wooden roof truss last Wednesday simply because of his Christian faith.
Morning Star News reports Pastor Vinod Kumar was ambushed, then killed by a Hindu man named Sonu Kashyap from Sangoi village in Haryana state's Karnal district.
— Morning Star News (@morningstarnewz) July 4, 2021
After leading an online worship service, Pastor Kumar received a call from Kashyap's brother about visiting a villager who was ill. As the pastor left his village, Kashyap repeatedly hit him in the head with the roof truss.
"He attacked Vinod unaware from behind," said the pastor's wife, Sunita Kumar. "He hit him hard on his head three times even after he fell from the motorbike.
"Kashyap had visited our home to get himself prayed for," Sunita added. "I do not know what came upon him that he took such a drastic step of killing Vinod so brutally."
Kashyap was arrested and Pastor Kumar was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.
Senior Pastor Sompal Kalre, Kumar's mentor who led him to Christ 25 years ago, said neighbors found Kashyap standing with the murder weapon in his hand.
"But before the police arrived, the villagers caught hold of Sonu and started hitting him," Kalre said. "The police arrived in time and rescued Sonu from the hands of the angry villagers, or else the mob would have killed him."
Station Head Officer Baljeet Singh told Morning Star News that Pastor Kumar was killed because of "some trivial animosity." Local Christians say the pastor's faith is what drove Kashyap to attack him.
Sunita said Kashyap would visit her husband and the two would talk about God's endless love and grace.
"Kashyap had also visited our home to get himself prayed for," she said, adding that he had asked the pastor to pray for him to be released from a drug addiction. The grieving wife said she is horrified that someone could kill a man like her husband.
"He had no enemies. The entire village was at his cremation, and they all wept for him. I have resolved to carry on the work my husband was doing, and I want to live his dream out," Sunita said. "Vinod became a martyr for his faith, and I too will die for my faith."
The 42-year-old pastor is also survived by an 11-year-old daughter.
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