Suspected Drug Traffickers Kill Pastor In Guatemala

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA (Worthy News)-- Christians in Guatemala were mourning Monday, January 30, a pastor who was shot and killed by suspected drug traffickers on his way to a regional meeting of church leaders in a violent border area near Mexico.

'Church of God' Pastor Neftali Leiva, a father of five daughters, was gunned down last week near the gathering, said his denomination's territorial administrative bishop, Jose Clara Vela.

He added that the shooting was witnessed by another pastor.

The witnessing pastor was quoted as saying that an unknown assailant walked up to the victim without a word and shot him point blank several times. When the shooter saw the witness a short way down the street, he reportedly also fired three times in his direction.


“The assassin shouted, ‘I’ll kill you,[also]’” the elderly pastor was quoted as saying.

It is the practice in the violent area to leave no witnesses, Christians said.

The pastor apparently felt the bullets go by and impact the trees behind him, but was unhurt."God’s hand of protection covered me, and the man ran away,” added the unidentified pastor, who is reportedly involved in a new Church of God church just across the border in Mexico.

World Missions, a mission group supporting indigenous Christians, said it has set up a relief fund to help care for the murdered pastor's widow and children.


The border territory where the attack took place is only about 48 kilometers (30 miles) long, but is home to 73 Church of God congregations, Christians said.

Clara explained that 20 new churches were "planted" in the region in the last two years.

However he stressed that the latest killing underscores that the church is growing in an area suffering of violence caused by drug distribution and transit. “When we travel in the area, we go with the car windows down so people will see who we are and not confuse us with their enemies,” the overseer said in published remarks.

Christians said that the murdered pastor had been on leave for nearly a year because he had been severely injured when hit by a car. He and his family had been cared for by the territorial church office.

The church leaders meeting was to mark "his return to full-time ministry," Christians said.

It was not clear what prompted the killing and local authorities could not be reached for comment.

3 thoughts on “Suspected Drug Traffickers Kill Pastor In Guatemala

  1. Heavenly Father, I lift up the widow and 5 daughters of this slain pastor to you.  I ask that you send the Holy Spirit to comfort them, to give them peace that surpasses all understanding.  I also ask for healing for the fellow pastor, for the sadness he must be feeling in his heart for the slain pastor.  I pray that the shooter would feel your presence. I pray that the shooter would know that, while you are a God that will not be mocked, nonetheless you do not wish for any to perish, but for all to have everlasting life.  I pray the shooter would be encouraged greatly to feel remorse for what he did, and that he would be encouraged to repent.  Please let him know it is better for him to repent and to trust in you , instead of dying in his sin and facing your wrath.  I pray that you protect the grieving family from any spirits of bitterness, that they would know that vengeance is yours, that Satan will not go unpunished forever.  I do pray that good would come from this somehow, that the families would become stronger witnesses for you, Lord, and in return, souls would be  touched and saved.  To God be the glory, in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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