On the 5th of February 2020 GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) personnel arrived without warning or prior notice and partially demolished a Church that was under construction. 57 year old Pastor Alagesan who was eye witness to this illegal act went into shock and suffered a stroke which caused paralysis. This incident took place in Maqdum Nagar which is located in the city of Hyderabad, the capital of southern India’s Telangana state.
Persecution Relief spoke to Samuel, the Pastor’s son. “ We purchased this land in 2014 for a price of around 45 lakhs” from the current Corporator named Jagan who works with the TRS party (Telangana Rashtra Samithi). In our agreement we clearly mentioned that the land will be used to construct a Church.
Samuel who had just moved into the pastoral quarterson the ground floor on the 1st of February 2020, with his parents further explained that their property is notary land. Permission from the government to build is not required. So they started constructing the church building in 2018. Since then the BJP workers have been harassing them, but the pastor still managed to construct 2 slabs.
When asked about the incident, he said, “ We built two pastoral quarters on the ground floor and the construction of the Church is in progress on the first floor. The GHMC personnel arrived without warning or prior notice on the morning of the 5th of February 2020 and partially demolished the Church building. My Father who was watching this suffered a stroke leading to paralysis and has been hospitalized for the past 3 days. Today his condition is stable and he has been moved out of the ICU to the general ward.”
He further informed us that the main people behind this scheme are local BJP leader Jagat Reddy and the Corporator Jagan who they suspect is fraudulently doing a double deal.
Around 150 believers belong to this Church, which is know as the Moriah Prayer house. In December 2020, Pastor Alagesan filed a stay order with the High Court to prevent demolition of the Church and he got the stay, But all those efforts seemed futile as the GHMC workers who came to demolish the Church said that pressure has been put on them by higher officials, else they would lose their jobs. The family is trusting God for his direction regarding this situation, but is currently waiting for the Pastor to be restoredback to good health.
Do pray for a quick recovery for Pastor Alagesan. Also pray forprotection over his wife and son Samuel.
Let us also remember to pray for the Corporator and the BJP leaders who have been harassing the Pastor and Church. That God may change their hearts and reveal himself to them.
Psalm 121:3 ‘He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.’
Our trust and hope is in an ever loving heavenly Father who does not sleep nor slumber.
Between January 2016 to December 2019, there has been a rise of 59.6% of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
What stands out amongst the Hate Crimes in India is that 4 Christians were murdered in 2019. We recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has showed a shocking 179.4% leap in cases of Christian Persecution between 2016 to 2019! From 39 cases being reported in 2016, the number has sky rocketed to 109 cases in 2019 alone bringing the total count from across the country to 527 cases. Uttar Pradesh has proved to be the most hostile state in the country against Christians for the past 3 consecutive years. Tamil Nadu continues to rank as the second most hostile state in the country with 75 cases, followed by Karnataka with 32 cases, bringing the state of Maharashtra to number 4 with 31 cases and Bihar with 30 cases stands at number 5.
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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