Anti-Christian attackers are targeting mission church buildings. One Gospel for Asia-supported missionary suffered an attack on his church building, and another missionary saw his church building destroyed this summer.
The first incident occurred on June 25. When pastor Chandan Dutta showed up to lead worship the next day, he noticed that all the windows in the church were destroyed. The door was also damaged where the vandals attempted to break in.
Chandan reported the incident to the local police, but they have yet to identify the culprits.
This was not the first challenge to Chandan’s ministry. In 2009 he was confronted by an angry mob of 200 people who took him to a nearby religious temple, accused him of forcing people to convert to Christianity and demanded he answer numerous questions about his activities.
The incident happened after Chandan passed out some gospel tracts. During the lengthy illegal trial at the temple, Chandan shared the gospel, explaining the love of Jesus as outlined in Psalm 23 and the book of John.
His accusers let him go that day, but warned him not to preach the Gospel or hand out any more tracts. In spite of their harsh treatment, many people continue turning to Christ as a result of Chandan’s ministry.
He is asking for prayer that his opponents won’t interfere with the ministry, but instead, will fully comprehend God’s love for them. He is also asking for prayer that he will be able to relocate his parsonage next to the church so that he can better guard the building.
Another church in Orissa, India has been destroyed. This time, it was in an area about 200 miles northeast of Kandhamal, where much of the violence against Christians raged in 2008.
The destruction of the church was believed to be directed by a local anti-Christian leader with strong ties to the traditional faith of the area. His anti-Christian rebel group was angry that people from different castes were meeting together for worship.
The church building was constructed on land donated by a Dalit (“Untouchable”) man, which also angered the anti-Christian group. This particular group holds fast to the tradition of segregation based on caste, although that system was outlawed more than 60 years ago.
The leaders of GFA’s ministry in Orissa ask for prayer for the believers who lost their church to remain unified and devoted to the Lord. They are also asking for wisdom and provision to rebuild the church building.
Orissa is a difficult state for missionaries. In 2008, this same anti-Christian rebel group went on a rampage after their leader was murdered. They killed hundreds of Christians and burned down thousands of churches, homes and businesses owned by believers.