04/19/2007, 00.00
INDIA
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Kashmir: Christian beheaded, his head left in front of a mosque

A group of hizbul militants, the Islamic “warriors of freedom”, kidnapped and killed, Ahmad Chat, 33, member of the Salem Voice Church. Pastors report daily persecution and violence in the province.

Srinagar (AsiaNews/Icns) – A group of Islamic militants kidnapped and then beheaded an Evangelist Christian in Kashmir.  The man’s head, wrapped in a plastic bag was, left outside a Mosque on April 14th last, where it was recovered by police.  

 

Paul Ciniraj, pastor to the Salem voice Ministers explains that Manzoor Ahmad Chat, 33, “He was killed because of his faith. He completely believed in Jesus Christ and conducted fellowships in his house once in a while, he had a small church in his house”.   According to the pastor, “there are no doubts that the assassins are the Hizbul militants [ “warriors of freedom” who are active in Pakistan and Kshmir], muslim extremists who want to turn Kashmir into an Islamic state”. But doubts remain as to why he was killed.  Manzoor has been associated with the SVM for over three years now. “While he was not baptized he did pray and held get-togethers for others too to pray and propagate the faith. However he did this secretly due to the present situation in the valley”.

 

Last year in another incident another Evangelist Bashir Ahmed Tantrey was also allegedly killed by the militants in the valley. “But Bashir was a public campaigner, unlike Manzoor who followed the faith secretly,” Fr Ciniraj said.

 

In the light of these attacks he concludes, “Christians are in danger in the valley. Many people are facing the problem. The terrorists are getting the support of the fundamentalists. But as persecution grows so also the faith”.

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