"Sunday Worship service hijacked; attack by armed men in Uttar Pradesh"

Sunday, 14 th May, started as just another regular morning. Worship service was to be conducted as always at Shechem House, Bro. Asha Prakash’s residence, ex-serviceman from the Navy, located at Prathap Vihar, in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, as was the practice for the last 6 years.

Bro. John Dawson, is an elder of this Church, committed to his task of shepherding the faithful flock of Jesus Christ. Both Brothers, committed, selfless, dedicated and disciplined are subdued words to describe these remarkable men of God.

Bro. John Dawson commenced the Worship Service as usual and seated in the midst of the regular congregation were 2 unidentified new comers. No body sensed anything amiss and did not assume that they were trespassing. Half-way through the service, these men used their mobile phones to text messages. Soon several unidentified religious fundamentalists joined them. 

Suddenly, without any warning, these men, armed with lathis, disrupted the worship service and began beating all the believers indiscriminately. What began as a peaceful anointed service, soon turned violent and confrontational. Elders 63-year old Bro. John Dawson, 68-year- old Bro. Asha Prakash and Bro. Arun Kumar were also not spared.

While pandemonium ensued, the fanatics threatened and warned the congregation never to hold worship service again or face 'something more dangerous and severe coming their way and fled the place.

Persecution Relief Founder, Shibu Thomas spoke to Bro. Asha Prakash. Though he had to be hospitalized and treated for his gruesome injuries after the assault, his resilience and fortitude is extraordinary. “I am willing to suffer for Christ and until my last breath and will continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. 

I am unashamed of the Gospel.” In spite of this situation, the eldership team encouraged the congregation not to withdraw but keep moving forward, no matter what be the circumstance. The Brothers also mentioned that they had forgiven the Persecutors and are praying daily for their change of heart. May God continue to use this Church as a lighthouse in the city of Ghaziabad. Although an FIR has been lodged, no arrests have been made so far.