By BosNewsLife Asia News Service
NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)– A police investigation continued Friday, May 7, into the killing of an Indian evangelist who investigators said was hacked to death in eastern India after showing a film on the life of Jesus Christ.
The mutilated body of Ravi Murmu, 30, was found this week in Jamalpur municipality in India’s Bihar state, said the All India Christian Council (AICC), a coalition of churches and mission groups.
AICC said Murmu was part of an evangelistic team showing ”Dayasagar”, a film about Jesus Christ Sunday, May 2, to residents of Laksmanpur village in Jamalpur.
Murmu and his co-workers left the village after the film show, but the evangelist never reached home, according to his family and rights activists.
A search began later Sunday, May 2, and soon the murdered evangelist was found with his right hand cut off, and deep cut wounds on his neck and other parts of his body, according to witnesses.
Shailendra Murmu, a brother of Ravi and an evangelist himself, reportedly said that his brother was apparently murdered between 9:30 and 10:00 PM local time.
Police detained two suspects, but no more details were released Friday, May 7, AICC added.
Christians have not ruled out that the evangelist was targeted by Hindu militants for his conversion activities, as attackers did not confiscate personal belongings, including his motor bike, mobile phone, watch and Bible.
Ravi is survived by his wife Rinku, eight-year-old daughter Celesty, and his widowed mother, Christians said.
Murmu was buried Monday, May 3, reported the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN).
When Shailendra was asked how the family is doing after the death of his brother, he reportedly said that “the peace of God still reigns in this house and in this family.”
“My only prayer now is that the Lord may forgive those who killed Ravi Murmu and that they may confess their sins,” UCAN quoted Pastor Yunus Mandal, who heads the late evangelist’s Bethel Assembly church in Jamalpur.
The killing comes amid mounting concerns over deadly attacks against devoted Christians in several parts of India, a heavily Hindu nation of over one billion people.