A church that opened three years ago in the south-west Indian state of Karnataka has been broken into and its contents destroyed in an intentional fire, reports Global Christian News.
The leader of the Shalom Assembly of God Church, Pastor Vaddar Nagaraja, said that all the items in the church, including furniture, music systems, Bibles and sacred sacraments used in giving Holy Communion and worth in total worth more than 100,000 rupees (US$1,526), “were gathered at various corners and set on fire”.
“By the time I reached [the church] everything had turned to ashes,” he added.
Nagaraja, 38, who had moved the congregation out of his house to the new church building in the Chitradurga district of the state, said the church had “a very cordial relationship with all the people in the neighbourhood”.
Local police have helped guard the church each night since the 17 September attack. No-one has yet been charged.
Earlier in September, also in Karnataka, two Christian women were accused by Hindu activists of forcibly converting people. The women were escorted to a local police station but later released without charge. It followed a similar incident in Karnataka in August when Hindus accused a 63-year-old Christian of offering money to converts.