01/21/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – Local sources report an under-construction church was demolished by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Telangana state. According to the church’s pastor, the destruction of the church shattered a decades-long dream of his Christian community.
On January 20, a mob of radical Hindu nationalists, led by Bura Venakanna, stormed a construction site where a church was being built. The radicals harassed the volunteers building the church and broke down the pillars and walls. The radicals claimed the church was being built too close to a Hindu temple.
“The damage is the loss of the hard earned money of poor Christians,” Pastor Mohd Afzal told International Christian Concern (ICC). “We are a peace loving community and we don’t interfere in the matters of others. However, we were still targeted.”
Pastor Afzal has led Gethsemane Prardana Mandiram in Mahabubabad town for the last 22 years. The congregation of 100 Christians has met in a temporary structure for decades.
“We have waited for nearly 22 years to have a permanent church structure,” Pastor Afzal told ICC. “Yesterday’s incident has shattered me and my church.”
A delegation of local pastors met with police to report the attack and the destruction of the under-construction church. Police promised to investigate the matter and arrest those responsible.
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