07/03/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News), police removed an idol of a Hindu deity that was forcefully installed inside a Christian church by a Hindu group in Haryana state, India. The police acted after Christian leaders complained about the incident to Haryana’s Chief Minister.
On June 27, around 100 police personnel arrived at the Assembly of God Church in Faridabad town and removed the idol without any opposition a week after its forcible installation.
“We are relieved and happy that police have cleared the encroachments from our church and returned it to us,” Pastor Pillai told UCA News on June 29.
The pastor said the church had been taken over by Hindu radicals since June 21. That is when they installed the idol and started conducting daily prayers to it.
Hindu activists claimed that a Hindu temple had existed on the same site as the church. However, the Christian church have been functioning in that location for the past 15 years and the land was purchased from a local person who occupied it for 47 years prior to that purchase.
Minakshi Singh, General Secretary of Unity in Christ, a forum of Protestant Churches, told UCA News that they complained about the radicals’ takeover of the church to the district police head. However, the police refused to act. Later, Christian leaders complained to the state police chief and the office of the state Chief Minister.
“Hours after complaining to the top police official, police reached the spot and cleared the encroachment,” Singh told UCA News.
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