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By Amy Penn

09/28/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In southern India, Pastor Aryan was leading a small congregation in a rented house until radical activists closed the church and forced the pastor to move. The poor community could not afford to replace their church which also functioned as Pastor Aryan’s home. Therefore, after Hindu radicals closed the church, Pastor Aryan found an isolated, empty piece of land to quickly build a shack for his family.

This incident of persecution was not a surprise. Pastor Aryan was used to harassment and persecution, but he had not been driven from his home until this incident. He told International Christian Concern (ICC), “I have been facing so much trouble from the Hindu Munnani activists, and I have been targeted and continually threatened and attacked, at times I was discouraged.” When Pastor Aryan and his family moved, the situation became worse.

The shack that Pastor Aryan and his family relocated to was not safe, nor was the hut next door that the church now used to worship. Instead of a roof, the family and church used plastic sheets to keep out rain and harsh rays from the sun. Holes and gaps in the shack’s materials allowed poisonous snakes and insects to inhabit the shack along with the family. In addition, the radical Hindus continued to persecute Pastor Aryan, his family, and the church. The extremists tore down the flimsy plastic sheeting that was protecting the church.

Shortly after Pastor Aryan’s move, ICC began investigating the situation to determine how to best support him, his church, and his family. The largest need proved to be a secure building that could serve as both a church and home. Therefore, ICC paid for housing materials including walls, a roof, and a door to protect them from poisonous snakes, insects, and the elements.

When the home was finished, Pastor Aryan was overwhelmed, “I have never expected to have a safe place for me and my family to live, as I did not have resources to build a house, said Pastor Aryan, it would have taken years for me to have such a place on my own, I really thank ICC for the help extended to me.”

The new home hasn’t stopped the radical Hindu activists from targeting Pastor Aryan. After complaints from the activists, Pastor Aryan’s electricity was shut off. Please continue praying for their safety and for the return of electricity.