Shouting religious slogans, a mob estimated at 1,000 people has destroyed a Christian church under construction in northern India, according to a report received from church leaders in the region. The attack occurred Sunday.
With the building demolished, the mob began to beat the pastor, his mother and church members, who were able to flee and went into hiding for the night. The extent of their injuries is not known. No deaths were reported.
“It is our desire that these who are persecuting will know the love of God for them,” said K.P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia founder and president.
The Christian congregation had begun construction more than two years earlier, but quickly met resistance and had been forced to stop the work. After much prayer, the climate seemed to improve and construction resumed. Building had progressed uneventfully to the point that workers were ready to install the roof, when the attack came this week.
Earlier that afternoon, a small group from the community confronted the pastor and demanded that construction cease, saying the building was not wanted. Recognizing the growing tension, the pastor stopped the work.
Despite the pastor’s decision, the group rallied the villagers to a meeting and incited them to attack.
The day after the attack, regional leaders first prayed and then met with local police, who declined to become involved. Despite continuing threats, the leaders returned to the site to survey the damage and take photos.
Church leaders have requested prayer from believers around the world that God will protect the pastor, his family and the congregation; heal the pastor’s son, whose medicine cannot be obtained in the current uneasy climate; and open the eyes of the villagers so they might experience the love of Jesus in their lives.
Those who wish to learn more about this event or make a donation can visit gfa.org/info/church-