Church Torched in Tamil Nadu, India

  April 17, 2011

  Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

  Damage to Property, Intimidation, Threats and Harassment

Hindu extremists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on April 17 torched Grace Good News Vision Church (GGNVC) after threatening the pastor with harm during an earlier Sunday morning service if the congregation persisted in worship.

The extremists in Chinnanandanam village, Kanyakumari district, had been harassing a GGNVC pastor identified only as Muthuswamy, alleging forcible conversion. On March 24, officials from the Suchendran police station had forced Muthuswamy to give a written statement that he would stop church services, and on March 27, RSS extremists had destroyed the church compound’s gate and wall.

On the morning of April 17 the Hindu extremists stormed the church service, stopped worship and threatened Muthuswamy and the congregation with harm if they continued meeting – and hinted that they would stir up anti-Christian carnage like that of Orissa state in 2008. At around 8:30 p.m. that night, they burned down the church building. At press time, no arrests had been made.

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