Fanatics threaten Pastor with snake, Karnataka
Pastor Challadorai and his son Sam Kamaleshan serve the ‘Olive church’ which gathers around 30 Christians every Sunday to pray and worship together. For the past 3 years, they have been renting a place at the rate of Rs.3000 per month, at Surya City in Chandapura, a town in the city of Bangalore in the Indian state of Karanataka.
On 05/01/20, the 1st Sunday of the New Year, the believers gathered with much joy and great enthusiasm to give thanks to the Lord for the year 2020. The evening service begun at 6pm with the church rejoicing with praise and adoration to the Lord, but were completely unaware of a grave conspiracy that was in progress right outside the church premises. At around 6:30pm, a few Religious Fanatics approached the church compound and parked their SUVs(Toyota innovas) in the dark with their head lights turned off. They then barged into the church meeting and went straight to Pastor Challadorai, grabbed him and started physically and verbally abusing him and his son, Sam Kamaleshan. They then threatened the congregation to vacate the premises immediately, clearing out the place within 30 minutes and never attempt to gather together again.
What was shocking was that they had snakes in their hands and threatened the believers saying, “if you don’t vacate immediately, we will make the snakes bite you!”
In the last 7 years, the Pastor has changed the place of prayer and worship 3 times but for the past 3 years they have been gathering peacefully together at the rented premises in Surya City.
In conversation with Persecution Relief, Pastor Challadorai was disheartened and very disappointed about the turn of events. Presently, he does not have a place for the church to gather together as the fanatics refused to leave until they vacated the place completely.
Even the owner of the place, who was fearful of the fanatics, refused to support the Pastor and agreed to what ever the fanatics said.
When we are faced with uncertainties, we have a God whose reliability we can trust. Psalm 18 talks about God’s protection over David, who in return praises God for watching over him. “It is God who arms me with strength. … You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way” vs. 32, 36.
Dear Church, please pray that the Pastor and the church would find a suitable place for worship, and would continue working for the Lords Vineyard with power.
Persecution Relief has recorded 330 incidents of hate crime against Christians in 2016, 440 incidents in 2017, 477 incidents in 2018 and 523 cases has been recorded in 2019.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
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