10/11/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – On September 26, a church in southern India was completely demolished by unknown assailants. According to the church’s pastor, the congregation of 50 is in “deep anguish” as a result of the incident.
According to Pastor Samson, head pastor of Devin Grace Church in Sirupurkagaznaar, the church building was destroyed in the early morning hours of September 26. Located in a district 200 miles outside of Telangana’s state capital of Hyderabad, Devin Grace Church was regularly attended by 50 Christians and had been in operation since 2004.
“I suspect the demolition was carried out by Hindu radicals as a part of a larger hate campaign against Christians,” Pastor Samson told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Several similar incidents of church demolitions and attacks on Christians have been reported in this area.”
According to Pastor Samson, the total cost of the destruction of the church, built with bricks and mortar, amounts to approximately $8,500.00 USD.
“The church has been in operations since 2004,” Pastor Samson told ICC. “However, we just inaugurated the building made up of bricks and mortar six months ago.”
“For most of the past 15 years my ministry has not had any adverse situations,” Pastor Samson reported. “But there has been an anti-Christian sentiment growing over the past few years.”
So far, local police have refused to file a First Information Report (FIR), telling the Christians not to make a communal issue out of the incident. Pastor Samson believes that the unknown assailants might have taken the police into confidence when they carried on demolition of the church. According to Pastor Samson, the police have only vaguely promised to do an investigation into the incident.
A similar incident of church destruction took place on July 18 in a town named Laxetipet located in the same district. According to Pastor Samson, the police in Laxetipet have yet to make any efforts to catch the culprits.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].