A group of Hindu terrorists pressed a local city council to bulldoze a Church in the state of Uttar Pradesh, to which the President of the council then told the Christians “As long as I am here, you will never have a church”:
More than 150 faithful Christians have witnessed powerless to demolish their church in a city of Uttar Pradesh. The place of worship was to be built in Atrauli, in the district of Aligarh. For two years the faithful awaited the start of the works, after the local Protestant congregation “Assemblies of God Church” had obtained the necessary authorizations. The umpteenth episode of discrimination against the Christian minority is denounced by the Persecution Relief group. To AsiaNews Shibu Thomas, its founder, protests: “Everything stems from the opposition of religious fanatics, led by the president of the municipal council. He went to the pastor and threatened: “As long as I am here, you will never have the church.”
Two years ago the rev. Raju Abraham, a pastor who has led the local Christian community for 10 years, had obtained permits to build the building on private land. The piece of land assigned to the building is 163 square meters. On March 30th, with a solemn ceremony and an inauguration party, work began on raising some walls.
The pastor said that “it was not easy to start construction. People have given their savings to have the church. ” In fact the construction process has been troubled: after the first authorization granted two years ago, the permit had expired due to delays due to lack of funds. He recently won another concession, thanks to which work began.
Instead, on the morning of April 5, Nagar Palika, president of the municipal council, arrived on the excavation along with other officials and police officers and gave the green light to a bulldozer that razed the three walls of five feet height. According to Thomas, the local politician “is motivated by religious prejudice”.
The pastor reports that “the damage caused to the church, a symbol of religious tolerance, is irreparable”. Thomas complains that “throughout India several places of worship have been demolished under construction with the sole pretext that people worshiped a foreign God”. Persecution Relief activists have documented 129 incidents in 2018 in Uttar Pradesh, the most hostile state in all India against Christians. In the first four months of 2019, there were 27 cases.
The Christian activist points out that “the building permits were valid. Furthermore, knowing full well that the country is under election, the community had done everything according to its own rules to avoid episodes like this “. “It is absurd – he continues – that a bulldozer enters private land. The officials asked the pastor to see the documents and then snatched them from his hands. The pastor had only one copy, now this makes things even more complicated. Some Hindu radicals living in the city are threatening the faithful and the reverend “.
Finally denounces: “All this is possible in Uttar Pradesh because the local government is linked to politicians. More than 25 churches have been closed and policemen are stationed outside buildings to prevent Christians from entering. The community is devastated. Christians have the right to profess their own religion and must be respected. “(source)