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Pastor Vinod (inset) and his wife, Sunita. - Photos: Morning Star News www.morningstarnews.org
Ask God to comfort Pastor Vinod Kumar's wife and daughter.
Photos: Morning Star News

In the village of Sangoi, which is located in northern India, Pastor Vinod Kumar had been sharing his faith for over two months with a man who was recently released from prison on bail. The Hindu man, Sonu Kashyap, had even been to the pastor's home for prayer. However, Sonu had rejected any call to faith in Christ.

On the evening of June 30th, Pastor Vinod had just finished leading an online prayer meeting when he received a phone call from Sonu's brother, saying that a villager was sick and in need of prayer. As Pastor Vinod was leaving the village on his motorbike, Sonu was waiting to ambush him. The former prisoner then struck the pastor from behind with a wooden beam, knocking him to the ground. Sonu then repeatedly struck Pastor Vinod to the point of death.

Immediately after the attack, a group of villagers captured Sonu, who was still holding the beam in his hand. Without intervention from the police, the perpetrator could have been killed by the mob of villagers. Police have listed the motive for the murder as "trivial animosity," but the pastor's wife, Sunita, is convinced that the attack was religious in nature. "I do not know what came upon [Sonu] that he took such a drastic step of killing Vinod so brutally," she says. However, Sunita and several others believe that Pastor Vinod was killed for sharing his faith with the man. Police have also charged Sonu's father and brother for their part in the murder.

Pastor Vinod is survived by his wife and 11-year-old daughter. Well respected by the community, the representing village chief spoke fondly of the dedicated pastor. "He has a good testimony and name here," the chief states. As a registered medical practitioner, Pastor Vinod was referred to as "Doctor," for he faithfully served members of the village by also ministering to their physical needs.

Sunita is determined to continue the ministry work of her husband, "I have resolved to carry on the work my husband was doing, and I want to live his dream out," she adds. "Vinod became a martyr for his faith, and I too will die for my faith." Further information on the persecution of Christians in India is available at our country report.

Please lift up Sunita and her daughter before our Almighty God, praying that they will receive greatly needed comfort, encouragement and strength. Praise Him for Pastor Vinod's dedicated life and ministry which have clearly provided a wonderful testimony to the villagers. May his ministry work, which Sunita plans to faithfully continue, yield much good fruit for the furtherance of God's Kingdom. Also intercede for the salvation of the perpetrator, Sonu, and his accomplices, that they too will heed the words of the Gospel, repent of their sins, and fully surrender their lives to Christ.