The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church

Report: Bibles for Mideast

We honor today the memory and legacy of two faithful workers for what is now Bibles for Mideast. Both lost their lives in brave service to the Lord they loved in Kashmir, a region rife with Islamic extremism and home to one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. [India and Pakistan have been fighting over Kashmir since both countries gained their independence in 1947—Ed.]

 Evangelist Manzoor 

Evangelist Manzoor 

Manzoor Ahmad Chat, 33, worked as an evangelist and pastor in the area. A strong believer in the saving, redeeming power of Jesus, he felt 'where better to serve the Lord than Kashmir?' He helped many find their way into the Kingdom and led a small but active underground church that met in his home.

Eleven years ago, Hizbul Mujahideen—Muslim extremists aiming to turn Kashmir into an Islamic state—kidnapped and beheaded Manzoor. The terrorists wrapped his head in a plastic bag and left it outside of a mosque where police recovered it. 

 Evangelist Bashir

Evangelist Bashir

A year earlier, evangelist Bashir Ahmed Tantray, 50, was also allegedly shot dead by Islamic militants. Bashir had been a public campaigner and a Bible teacher with Bibles for Mideast. A well-known Christian in the area, he been featured in numerous media reports.

We also think of and honor the memories of two teenage sisters, Arifa and Akhtar, who were shot dead by Islamic militants in 2011 simply for reading the Bible. They had found faith in Jesus thanks to the work of Bibles for Mideast evangelical outreaches in their area of Kashmir.

We remember and celebrate all of these martyrs’ faithful lives and service.

Jesus said: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."    (John 12:24)