NEW DELHI, India — A pastor was slashed and shot to death in front of family March 17 by suspected Maoists.
Yalam Shankar was killed outside his home in Angampalli village in India’s Chhattisgarh state. The six masked assailants slit his throat and shot and stabbed him in the chest. Later, they kicked him to make certain he was dead, according to a report by Morning Star News, quoting his daughter-in-law. She and Yalam’s wife witnessed the attack.
According to a note left on his body, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, which is part of the Communist Party of India (or Maoists), was responsible for the murder. As is a common method for Maoists, the note accuses the pastor of being a police informant.
In January, a notice directed to Yalam and 21 other Christians by name warned them to “leave pastorship of the Christian faith” or suffer the consequences. The Christians were told to return to worshiping tribal gods, Morning Star News reported.
Tribal animists are known to incite Maoists to kill Christians.
India is No. 10 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.