Our mission of training leaders in under-reached and under-resourced parts of the world often puts our ministry in some very dark places. Nowhere was this more evident a few months ago than in Ranchi, India, where Maoist radicals murdered one of our graduates. Abraham Topno was a popular pastor in a place where it is sometimes dangerous to be a professing Christian and even more dangerous to be a pastor who is bringing people to faith in Christ.
Abraham and his wife, Hulda, were raising three teenage children in a very poor farming village near Ranchi, while he faithfully pastored a growing house church. Our Global Action director in India explained to me via email that Abraham was a farmer himself and lived in such poverty that sometimes his family survived on only two meals a day. And yet he was known as an effective witness, and many people in the community were converting from Hinduism to Christianity. It is widely believed that he was targeted because of that dynamic Christian influence. Our director explained it this way, "During his short time of work, he brought over fifty souls to the Lord, and that is one of the main reasons for this death. He was accused and threatened many times by anti-believer activists, but he never stopped his work."
Abraham was ambushed in a public carrier not far from his home on the night of May 1, 2018. He was stabbed to death and beheaded by his attackers, and then his body was set on fire. The gruesome method of his assassination was no doubt meant to send a message to his growing congregation and to all Christian converts in the area.
We are praying for his wife, Hulda, daughter Susari (aged 19), son Aman (aged 16) and his youngest daughter Elisa (aged 12) and for the entire Christian community around Ranchi. As one can imagine, the long term prospects for a family in their situation is somewhat precarious. Global Action has started a fund to benefit his wife and children and to help ease their financial burdens as they pick up the pieces of this senseless tragedy. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please go here.