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Church Attacked and Stoned

By James Varghese

8/18/07 India (ANS) — A group of Hindu extremists attacked a church at Ganeshpura in Belgaum District, Karnataka State , India , on Thursday, August 16th.

Calvary Prayer Center was the church and the incident took place as its Pastor, Sajan Philip, was away taking a meeting in another place.

The miscreants attacked the church building late on Thursday night and started pelting stones at the windows and the roof, resulting in all of the window panes being damaged and also destroying part of the roof.

Pastor Sajan’s wife and children were sleeping under that roof and, on hearing the noise, they hid themselves under a cot in the room.

When he heard the news, Pastor Sajan raced back home and a registered a complaint against these extremists with the local police station.

Speaking to ANS Pastor Sajan said, “This is the third time that these miscreants have attacked our church.”

He said that after the previous attacks, his congregation had not made much noise during their service so as not to attract attention from the local anti-Christian extremists.

“Previously, the elders of the church had lodged complaints against these attackers and requested the police to take action to arrest them, but so far no action has been taken.”

Previous Attack:

In July 2005, this same church was attacked in a similar way by throwing stones and breaking up items in the church. The pastor ministering at this church at that time was Pastor Benny Thomas. During that attack, the thugs also beat two members of the church and a case was filed against them.

Brief information about the church:

The church runs under an organization called International Full Gospel Society (IFGS), which is based in Thiruvalla, Kerala State . There are about 45-50 members in the church. Pastor Sajan has been ministering there for one and half years. IFGS has two churches in Karnataka state; one is in Belgaum and the other in Ganeshgudi. The organization had planned to start a school for the local kids in the Ganeshpura area but these extremists did not allow them to run this school.