Pastor Sultan Masih—Faithful servant of God and martyr for Christ
Friday, September 1, 2017
Written by India Gospel Outreach
Praise God for His faithful saints who give their lives for the gospel, even to shedding of blood.
On July 15th, one of our pastors in Ludhiana, Punjab, Pastor Sultan Masih of Temple of God Church, was shot dead in front of his church. He had just finished watering a small garden plot in front of his church when two young men with face masks rode by on a motorcycle and shot him in his chest and face at close range. He died instantly.
He founded the church in 1989. About 400 baptized believers belong to the church, all former Sikhs and Hindus. Many other people who seek truth also attend services. Much evangelism takes place with many people coming to follow Jesus. It is clear that attackers saw Pastor Sultan and the growing church as a threat to the status quo.
The church also runs a school for children from surrounding slums, up to the 4th grade. This church supported by IGO is a praying church, with groups of people at prayer 24/7.
More than 7,000 Christians gathered for the funeral in driving rain. Two days later, thousands gathered to protest the murder and to hold a prayer vigil.
Pastor K. Koshy, who directs IGO’s ministry in Punjab and northwest India, presides over the Protestant Church Association of Ludhiana. He and a Catholic bishop represent Christians in negotiating with government officials and representatives of radical political parties.
On July 17, Pastor Koshy presided over the funeral, with leaders of all denominations present, under heavy police protection. Many thousands attended in heavy rains to honor Pastor Sultan for his faithful service. The situation has raised tensions throughout Ludhiana and Punjab.
Christians see this as continuation of a radical Hindu and Sikh attack on Christians that took place in the city of Jullunder a few days earlier.
Pastor Sultan leaves behind a large family—his wife, three children, five adopted children, and other extended family members. As you feel so led, please encourage them at this time with a special gift to help meet their needs and also to help with the school for the children from the surrounding slum which IGO supports and Pastor Sultan superintended.
Please pray for Pastor Sultan’s family.
Pray that God will transform Pastor Sultan’s martyrdom into one that glorifies God and advances His kingdom, as did that of Stephen.
Pray that this will inspire many young men and women to enter the ministry, and that it will cause even the perpetrators to fall at His feet and glorify His Name.