A woman in India who had recently converted to Christianity was brutally murdered by four youths associated with a Hindu fanatic group, marking the fifth religiously motivated killing of a Christian in the country in less than two months.
The 25-year-old Christian woman, Suman Munda, was killed in Redhadi, a village in Khunti district, on July 19.
Four youths were arrested in connection with the murder, UCA News reports.
A local pastor who requested anonymity told International Christian Concern that Munda converted to Christianity six years ago. After learning of her conversion, radical Hindu nationalists started harassing her.
When relatives visited Munda’s house they could not find her, they later discovered her body at a deserted place near her home.
“I suspect that it is the handiwork of a Hindu fanatic group. Christians here have been facing a serious threat from it. The fanatic group is asking us to go back to Hinduism. We are scared and our people are shattered,” Bishop Binay Kandulna of Khunti told UCA News.
Last month, Ramji Munda, 27, was murdered in the same district. Villagers believe the Christian man was killed by an anti-Pathalgadi group that safeguards tribal people’s rights.
“It is a matter of serious concern because the state witnessed a Christian man killed only last month in the same district. The administration as well as leaders should take note of it and take appropriate steps,” Kandulna said.
“Persons of any faith are a creation of God and we have to respect all, but some vested interest groups are trying to target minorities in the state to spread hatred among various faiths who are otherwise peace-loving people, according to Christian Post.
“We condemn the killing and appeal to the administration to take strict action against the culprits. It is very unfortunate that we have lost a precious life.”
Believers in India—number 10 on the 2020 World Watch List—are often shunned, unjustly arrested, attacked—even killed—because they choose to follow Jesus and not Hinduism or the local religion. Our Indian family needs the prayers of the global church to stand strong in the midst of persecution—and to remain a light for Christ in the world’s second-most populated country.