Indian pastor murdered in drive-by shooting, Christians in street protest

A pastor was murdered outside his church in Ludhiana, northern India on Saturday in a brutal attack captured on CCTV.

Pastor Sultan Masih was on his phone outside his church when he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle. He is believed to have been hit by three bullets.

Christians organised a demonstration on Sunday in protest at the killing, blocking traffic on a major bypass road. The family has said Masih's funeral will not take place until the killers have been apprehended, according to the Hindustan Times.

Demonstrators protested the killing of Pastor Sultan Masih.Swarg Ki Rah Church/Facebook

The chief minister of Chandigarh State announced an ex gratia payment to Masih's widow Sarabjit and said their son would be given a job in the police force.

The killing has stoked fears among Christians in the Punjab region concerned about a rise in intercommunal tensions. The Moderator of the Church of North India, PK Samntaroy, told the Times of India on Sunday: 'The killing of innocent people is certainly not a good sign for the hard-earned peace of Punjab.' He said the government should act fast to win the confidence of the Christian community.

The former Bishop of Delhi and general secretary of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Karam Masih, said Christians were a peaceful community. 'The government should get into the depth of the incident and expose the truth as well as put the perpetrators of the heinous crime behind bars,' he said.

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