“He is a martyr for the faith and we can only pray that his blood may be a seed for evangelisation.” These were the words of the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians after Bashir became the first Christian convert to be killed for his faith in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Bashir (50), who had converted from Islam around ten years before his death, was shot dead in broad daylight on 21 November 2006 by two Muslim extremists, while he was chatting to friends in the village where he lived. The assassins fled the scene by motorbike.
Following his conversion, Bashir, a husband and father of four, had been active in evangelism and had received death threats. Violence against Christians in Jammu and Kashmir State had been on the rise around the time of Bashir’s death; two Christian schools had been targeted with bombs by Islamic militants.
Suffering saints are living seed.
C H Spurgeon (1834-92)
Originally published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo (Isaac Publishing)