Religious extremists from a popular radical Hindu activist group have brought a church construction project to a halt. They have set up a tent outside the unfinished building to conduct rituals to their gods.
The extremists descended on the church, which is under construction in Uttar Pradesh, India, on December 17. They placed vermillion-red flags on the church building, which is a sign that it has been taken over for Hindu use. The extremists, who belong to the radical RSS movement, then proceeded to offer pujas (Hindu prayers) to their gods and goddesses.
GFA missionary Kushal Samuel heard about the incident and rushed to the church. He tried to talk to the extremists, but they had called the police, who arrested Kushal and took him to jail. While he was being held in jail, the extremists attacked the GFA district leader, Harish Kumar, who had come to the site to help Kushal. The extremists beat Harish for about 30 minutes and then took him to the police station. They made up false stories about Kushal and Harish and accused them of many crimes.
The police allowed Kushal and Harish to speak, and they explained, in detail, what the church does. After hearing their explanation, the police released Kushal and Harish. But they halted the church construction.
In the meantime, the Hindu extremists set up a small tent in front of the unfinished church building. They are sitting in the tents conducting their rituals and are pressuring believers to turn their back on Christ and return to Hinduism.
The church was complete, except for the roof, when the extremists commandeered the site. GFA's zonal leader, Lamu Tekam, has met with the police in an effort to get permission to continue the construction project.
- Please pray for Lamu, that his talks with the police will bear fruit and that the police will allow construction to resume.
- Pray for the extremists who desecrated the church property. Pray that they will come to know Christ.
- Pray for Kushal as he works in that village. Ask the Lord to give him grace and wisdom in the midst of the difficult situation.
- Pray for the believers, that God will strengthen them and that they will stand firm in their faith.