A pastor in India joined the ranks of Christian martyrs when he was gunned down by a Maoist group during a church service.
The incident took place July 10 in the Gadchiroli district of India’s Maharashtra state. Pastor Munshi Devu Tado was leading a service for about 15 families when armed men arrived, according to Morning Star News, an independent news service focusing on Christian persecution.
“They shook hands with him at first, then took him by his hand and, after few steps, they tied his hands at his back with a rope,” said Jaini Munshi Tado, the pastor’s widow.
“I, my father-in-law and brother-in-law followed after them, pleading and enquiring as to why they are taking him. They said they just want to talk to him and that we need not worry, they will send him back in a little while,” she said.
Eventually, the Maoist group shoved the family to the ground and went on.
“Hardly five to seven minutes later, we heard a gunshot,” she said. “We immediately ran in the direction only to find the body of my husband in the pool of his blood, and the Maoists had gone. I wept bitterly, my husband was gone.”
Munsi Deo Tando, 30, once a member of Maoist insurgency in #India, turned to Jesus & became a pastor.
Last week at a prayer service, he was taken away by Maoists & executed, leaving behind a wife & 3 kids.
Pray for all who risk their lives following Jesus. https://t.co/QnbH3p3EH6
— Alan Leonard (@blueshawk) July 14, 2020
Tado, in his mid-thirties, leaves behind four children, ages 6, 5, 4 and 1.
His killing was the fourth religiously motivated slaying of a Christian in less than two months in the region.
As noted by the Indian Defence Review, Maoist guerrillas in India are waging a “proxy war” in India at the behest of China.
Tado’s death was the result of hatred against the church, according to Pastor Vijay Kumar Vachami, who knew and worked with Tado.
Some villagers tried to manipulate the Maoists into stopping the pastor from gaining coverts by spreading lies about him to the Maoists, Vachami said.
“The Maoists once sent back a message saying, ‘We do not want to kill Tado, make him understand, and he will understand,’ but the villagers did not stop at that. They pestered the Maoists to the point that they actually executed the horrendous killing,” he said.
Tado was a figure of local significance because seven years ago he had converted from the local tribal religion to Christianity, which earned him and his wife persecution, Vachami said.
“They were persecuted in every way,” Vachami said. “Then one day, their house was attacked and brought down by the villagers. They were told to leave the village or else they would be killed.”
Tado left the village and built a farmhouse but did not stop preaching.
‘Constantly Persecuted’ for His Faith: Pastor in India Murdered by Maoists https://t.co/riX30G9OBV
— CBN News (@CBNNews) July 14, 2020
“There were only three Christian families in the past, but this year due to the hard work of Tado, the number of families increased to 18,” Vachami said. “He was a very simple man and a very faithful servant of God. Please pray for his family that is left behind.”
Tado’s widow told Morning Star News, “We earned our living by serving the Lord and by working in the agriculture fields. Now that my husband is gone, I will ask God for His grace for me to bring up the four children.”
Jaini Munshi Tado said she and her husband had joined the Maoist movement from 2005 to 2007 but started their lives over after their release from prison.
“Since that day till only now, the Maoists never visited us or troubled us, nor called us back,” she said.
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