Makeshift Church Burnt Down in Telangana, India

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A makeshift prayer hall belonging to the Christian community in Gopanpally village of Nizamabad in Telangana was burnt down by unknown people.

The Nizamabad Superintendent of Police said that the village Panchayat had objected to the construction of the prayer hall, following which unknown people burnt down the hall late at night on Friday.

The police is yet to make an arrest but a case has been registered.
According to reports, earlier a local pastor and members of his congregation in Nizamabad were beaten by a mob of 40 Hindu radicals after they allegedly tried to convert Hindus to Christianity.

The attack, which occurred during a prayer gathering, resulted in the hospitalisation of six persons, including a four-year-old girl whose leg was broken, according to locals.

“It was a very scary scene. They tore my cassock and I received blows, punches, kicks from all directions as I was their prime target. Bibles were snatched from us and were tore and trampled. Believers ran to all directions as they were chased by the mob,” Pastor Nitin Kumar said.

Last Sunday a Pentecostal church in the Chhattisgarh state was also attacked during prayer services by a mob, believed to have been a part of the Bajrang Dal organisation.

While attacks against Christians have occurred for quite some time, the problem has seemingly become widespread after the election of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Indian People’s Party. The BJP believes in what is known as Hindutva—a cultural nationalism which favors Indian culture over westernization.