03/19/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Yalam Sankar, a Christian pastor, has been brutally murdered in Angampalli village, Bijhapur district of Chhattisgarh state, Central India. Last Thursday, five masked men broke into the pastor’s house, dragged him out, and stabbed him to death. The body was taken to the coroner and will be handed over to his family. The 50-year-old pastor is survived by his wife, two sons, and grandchildren. The family and the entire Christian community in the region are appalled and devastated.
According to sources reaching out to International Christian Concern (ICC), Pastor Shankar was the Senior Pastor of BCM (Bastar for Christ Movement) Church in Angampalli. He was a former sarpanch of the village and a very influential person. He was known to defend Christians from the radical Hindu nationalists. A local Christian who wished to remain anonymous told ICC, “the Christians in this area have been facing intense opposition from the radical Hindu nationalists. Several times Pastor Shankar defended Christians from radical Hindu nationalists, and that could be the reason for this extreme form of persecution of killing.”
Local Christians confirmed that two days back, the local radical Hindu nationalists threatened Pastor Yalam Shankar that they would kill him if he continued to preach the Christian faith. Christians in Chhattisgarh state have been facing severe persecution following the hate speeches of right-wing organizations and their political leaders. We pray for the grieving family members of Pastor Shankar and the Christian community in the state.