Suspected Religious fanatics set ‘under construction’ Church on fire, Punjab
In a mysterious, suspected arson attack, an ‘under-construction’ Church in Harchowal village, Batala Tehsil, Gurdaspur District, in Punjab, was set on fire.
Prompting allegations of foul play by the Christian community, the blaze reduced to ashes the church’s interior, including destroying Holy Bibles, 8-Pedestal Fans, Floor mats, Chairs and many other valuable items.
Pastor Satpal Masih has been ministering with IPC Bethesda Prarthana Bhawan since 2007, in Harchowal village, Batala Tehsil, Gurdaspur District, in Punjab.
He had started construction of the Church on his own personal land, with the necessary permissions. The construction was almost in its finishing stages. In spite of the incomplete construction, over 250 believers used to gather every Sunday for worship service.
On Wednesday, 07th November, 2018, at around 6.00 pm, he received information that the Church was on fire.
“I rushed to the Church to find the inside in flames”, he told Persecution Relief.
It appears that unidentified persons broke into the church, on the eve of Diwali festival and threw “inflammable fluid” which led to the fire. Several churchgoers stood outside the charred remains of the Church building, shocked by what they believed was a planned assault.
Police were intimated about the incident and have assured all support. However, no arrests have been made so far.
In response to a Persecution Relief tweet, the Director General (DG) of Police has assured all support and prompt action in nabbing the culprits at the earliest.
While India is preparing for the Elections in April 2019, the Country is witnessing considerable activity, in an attempt to polarize communities, especially against Christians and Muslims.
Church, pray that God would be present with persecuted Christians in their hardship, protecting them according to His will.
Pray that all Christians facing hardship will draw from a source of power – Jesus Christ.
Pray that the witness of Christians would inspire those who seek to harm them.
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