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Hindu Radicals Burned Down a Church in Andhra Pradesh

Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Hindu radicals burned down a church on January 22 in Andhra Pradesh, India, causing serious injury to the pastor in his attempts to extinguish the fire.

A group of people broke into the Memorial Gypsy Church and set it on fire after dousing the building in several gallons of kerosene oil. The fire destroyed church furniture, carpets, electrical wires, fans, a lectern, song books, prayer books and Bibles. The damage has been estimated at 35,000 Rupees ($755).

The church’s pastor, Kumara Nayak, sustained third degree burns all over his body after he unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the flames. He was admitted at the Relief Hospital . At the time of writing, the pastor had not yet been released from the hospital.

A police complaint was filed by the area Christians at Pahadi Sharif Police Station, and a First Information Report (a report written by police when they receive news of crime) was registered against the perpetrators.

The sub-inspector of the police station, Lakhsmi Kandh Reddy, told ICC that the police were tracing the groups involved in this mischief and appropriate actions would be taken against them.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said, “Hindu radicals have stepped up attacks against Christians and churches in India . We are deeply concerned about this latest attack on Memorial Gypsy Church . We urge Indian officials to take all the necessary steps to arrest the perpetrators of the church arson.”

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