On 16th June, Saturday, the local Police had asked Pastor Bhakkiyaraj not to congregate on Sunday, as the Hindu Munnani Group were gathering in the area. They asked that Pastor worship only with his family.
Religious fanatics targeting House Churches, Tamil Nadu
Pastor Bhakkiyaraj has been ministering at Udumalpet village, Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu, affiliated with Church of God. The Church has been gathering at a temporary shed where 30-35 persons gather. Married with one child, Pastor lives around 5 kms away in Dhali village.
On the 15th June, around 7 pm, SI (Sub-Inspector)Aiyah Sami and 2 Police Constables visited Pastor to inform him that a complaint had been lodged against him and the Church. The SI claimed that unknown persons had alleged that Pastor was involved in conversion activities and ‘sound pollution’ caused by the Worship service. The SI went on to state that official permission must be obtained from either the Panchayat Head or the Collector to gather as a Church and conduct worship services.
Pastor reassured him that the Church was indeed registered under the 1949 Society Act and legally operating. SI asked Pastor to submit a copy of the Church documents, including the Water, Tax and other documents, to the Station the following day.
Pastor along with a delegation of AICWU members – Leader of AICWU (All India Christian Welfare Union), Pastor Ashok Samuel, Head of Tamil Nadu Chapter, Pastor Christopher and 2 other brothers, went to the Police Station, to hand in the documents requested.
Pastor learned that religious fanatics from the Hindu Munnani Group had lodged the complaint, demanding that 10 Churches in the Udumalpet area be closed, claiming that these Churches are allegedly operating without authorization from either the Collector’s Office or the District’s Magistrate office.
It is alleged that this is a well-planned conspiracyagainst the Christian community and churches. No other concrete reason is given besides “conversion activities” and “noise pollution” charges, which are used as an excuse to closedown the churches.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov. 19:21)
Church, pray that all of God’s true servants, who implicitly obey what He commands, take comfort and courage, and rest patiently for God to fulfill whatever it is He is doing.
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