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07/12/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – On June 26, a church was burned to ashes in Charla, a village located 150 miles north of Hyderabad, Telangana’s state capital. The entire structure, made of thatch, wooden poles, and other materials, was completely destroyed along with everything inside it.

According to Pastor Joshua Chinna Rao, head pastor at The Believer’s Church, this incident is not the first time local radicals have attempted to destroy the church. However, by the time church members arrived at the scene of the fire on June 26, the church was already completely consumed by the fire.

Pastor Rao started The Believer’s Church started 18 years ago. For the first five years, church members would to meet in each other’s’ homes for worship. However, as more people began attending the services, the community built a temporary shed that could accommodate nearly 25 families.

We do not know who burnt the church,” Pastor Rao told International Christian Concern (ICC). “We suspect it was done deliberately to prevent us for worshiping.

After the church was burned, services were held in my house,” Pastor Rao said. “Unfortunately, as soon as my landlord realized what we were doing, he demanded that we stop.

Now I cannot have worship at the church or in my rented house,” Pastor Rao lamented. “I am worried whether I will be able to hold any worship at all.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].