Extension for Church building permission denied, Uttar Pradesh
Bro. Joel called on the Toll Free No 1899-1234-461 to narrate the incident of Pastor Raju Abraham, who has been ministering over 10 years with Grace Assemblies of God at Atrauli Block in Aligarh District of Uttar Pradesh.
Together with the congregation, they had purchased a plot of land measuring around 1800 sq. ft to build a church.They had the relevant building plans drawn up and secured approval from the Municipal Office too.
However, on the 28th November, while the ground was being prepared for the construction, a group of religious fanatics, from the neighbouring areas, trespassed into the private property and demanded that the work be stopped. They were emphatic that no matter what happens, they would not allow the construction of a Church in the area.
Unfortunately, owing to an inadvertent financial crunch, the Church were not able to garner the funds needed to start the construction within the stipulated time. Therefore, thepermission date for construction had expired. Seeking an extension of the permit to construct the Church, the Municipal Authorities, instigated by religious fanatics, denied outright extension of permit for construction of the Church in the areas.
The religious fanatics verbally abused and threatened Pastor and other believers, threatening to kill them. They warned that even if the High Court or Supreme Court sanctioned the construction of the Church, they would shoot to kill whoever was undertaking the construction.
They also went to great lengths to solicit signatures from the neighbourhood, to hand over to the Police, expressing apparent solidarity with sentiments of people in the area against the Church.
The Police are duty bound to protect its citizens against this gross violation of rights under Article 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India. But the Police were derelict in their duties by being prejudiced in their support of the fanatics.
There is a sense of deep insecurity among the Christian minority community and the government must do its utmost safeguard the Fundamental Rights of every citizen.
Temples are made without permissions on Government land. However, Christians need to purchase their own land and have several procedures and sanctions imposed to build a Church building – in this case, permission denied.
Religious freedom is at a stake across India, where Christians are denied the basic right to gather peacefully, whether it is in their own property or a rented property or at their residence.
The Government of India must keep the voice of democracy, justice and probity alive, and take serious measures to stop the atrocities against Christians.
Church, please pray for religious freedom across India.
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