Ajay Topno (2007): Tensions in the village
Ajay was an Indian evangelist who worked with Trans World Radio in Jharkhand state, India. He would sometimes accompany a fellow evangelist to Sahoda village, where they would conduct worship services for a small number of Christian families. Tensions had risen between Christians and Hindus in the village following the “reconversion” of a Christian family to Hinduism by Hindu extremists.
On the evening of 16 September 2007, Ajay set off for Sahoda. When he didn’t return home, his wife and friends tried to contact him but his mobile phone was switched off. They reported Ajay missing to the police but three days passed before a search was launched. Ajay’s body was found in the jungle near the village; he had been shot dead. It is believed that Sahoda villagers, with help from Hindu extremist groups, killed Ajay and dumped his body. The Christian community felt that the killing was committed in a bid to restrict Christian activity and outreach in the area.
Thank you, living God, for your undying love, ever at work for us and the whole world, made known in every age; for its triumphant victory in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for its continuing presence with us, to be proclaimed to the ends of the earth through your Holy Spirit.
Alan Gaunt (born 1935)