High-voltage drama orchestrated by “squatters”, New Delhi
For the past 5 decades, “Free Church” (Church of North India), Sansad Marg, New Delhi, has been an iconic landmark heritage building, within the city of Delhi. The Church was attacked by illegal squatters and religious fanatics, who have threatened to burn down the Church building.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, was Pastor Timothy Shaw who lives in the parsonage on the Church property with his family.
Background: Several years ago, Dheeraj’s father worked in the Church and lived in the servant’s quarters behind the Church building. After his father died, the son Dheeraj and his family, refused to leave the quarter and continued to illegally occupy the property, in spite of the Church management asking them to vacate. He also put up a temporary mandir where he deliberately invited people, in order to escalate and provoke this situation, and give it a communal colour.
The Church has been engaged in a painstaking legal battle to evict them for the past many years, causing a great deal of nuisance and distress to Church.
Recently, after the bombings in Sri Lanka where over 350 persons were killed, Police took precautionary measures for the safety of Churches across India. “Free Church” authorities were summoned by the DCP, Parliament Street, to take immediate safety measures, few of which were to restrict the number of vehicles into the Church property and limit entry to a single gate / entry point. In compliance, parking stickers were issued to registered vehicles.
When access from the back entrance was closed and the vehicle of the illegal squatter prohibited entry, Dheeraj and his goons attempted to break down the gate and incite violence within the Church campus, while several Church members looked on.
Within minutes, a mob gathered in utter defiance to the law and order situation, shouting anti-Christian slogans, apparently owing allegiance to a religious outfit. They threatened to burn down the Church and warned Pastor Timothy Shaw of dire consequences.
The local Delhi Police appear to be indifferent and apathetic to disperse or take decisive action against the mob outside the Church. The Free Church premises is on the boil and the situation is worsening by the second.
Church, please lift up fervent prayers for “Free Church” (Church of North India), Sansad Marg, New Delhi. Pray for the peace and justice of God to prevail.
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