Part of a Protestant church in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, has been demolished to make way for a wider road, despite the local court being yet to announce its verdict on the proposal, AsiaNews reports.
A wing of the Emmanuel Church, which belongs to the Church of South India, and some adjacent houses were included in the area proposed for development by local authorities. On 2 August, builders sent by Tamil Nadu’s Department of Public Works arrived in the Anna Nagar district of Chennai with bulldozers, accompanied by policemen.
When they started the demolition, a group of Christians and local residents confronted the officials. The pastor told AsiaNews that the court had not yet issued an order for demolition.
“The church has been here for 50 years. The High Court of Madras [the old name for Chennai] still has to announce the verdict on the demolition, and instead the demolition has been carried out all the same,” Rev. Sam Raj Kumar said.
The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians said Christians were being discriminated against.
“In the area there are several [Hindu] temples built in the middle of the road and the traffic is diverted on purpose,” Sajan K. George said. “The [religious] sentiment [of Hindus] is respected by the government. Why does it not happen when it comes to Christians?”