A 21 year old church razed to the ground by radicals in Hosur (TN)

December 16, 2011 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-lead, Persecution, Tamil Nadu

Paul Chinna SwamyTamil Nadu, December 13, 2011: Christu Sabha, an independent church near Hosur in Tamil Nadu, was razed to the ground in the dead of night by the Hindu radicals on Saturday, December 3rd 2011, when nobody was around the church. The police have not filed an FIR till this very day in spite of all the efforts made by the pastor in charge of the church.

Pastor Paul B. Chinnaswamy (59), who is in charge of this church, is in charge of two churches, which he built and nurtured during the last more than two decades, the first at the place of his birth in Sinigarapally called the Christu Sabha, about 19 Kilometres from the Industrial Town of Hosur, and the other at Uddinapally known as John’s Church, about 5 Kilometres away from the first church, both coming under Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu. Christu Sabha has a congregation of about 40 believers, and John’s Church has about 60 believers.

Pastor Chinnaswamy built the Christu Sabha church in 1990 spending over 2 lakhs of rupees collected from a large number of well-wishers and the members of his own church over a period of number of years, which today lies in shambles. Pastor Chinnaswamy, originally a communist, hails from the dalit background, and he accepted Lord Jesus in the year 1985. As a popular dalit leader in his village he had also served for a period as the chairman of the local village panchayat, hence the wrath of the Hindu fundamentalists against the new born pastor in their midst. However, Pastor Chinnaswamy has fearlessly continued to carry the good news, Christ’s liberating message, to his brothers and sisters and other members of his village.

Fearing the change of hearts of all the enslaved people in the village towards Christ, the Hindu fundamentalists mounted their attacks against the pastor, twice in 2007. They attacked him and robbed his little savings and also broke and destroyed a small shed in which he regularly held his worship services. The first attack was on 22nd April 2007 and the second on 5th May 2007 during which they not only ruthlessly beat him up, but also stabbed him with a huge screw driver in the leg with the intent of maiming him. They had also threatened to abduct all his 4 daughters and harm his son, if he persisted with his work of spreading Christianity in the village. The GCIC had also intervened and approached the NHRC and the National Minority Commission in that regard and they had ordered the local police to give all necessary protection to Pastor Chinnaswamy, which the police did for some time.

Subsequently, fearing for the lives of his children, the pastor shifted his residence to Uddinapally, another village about 5 Kilometres away, and also started a new church there, called John’s Church, while also continuing to cater to the spiritual needs of the believers at Sinigarapally and regularly conducting the worship services at Christu Sabha Church, which now stands completely destroyed. The saddest part of the whole story is that the culprits who brought a JCB and destroyed the church in the dead of night also robbed and took away whatever was useful in the church, including the rafters, beams, tiles, wooden doors and windows. Also, as he could not give any specific names to the police since he stays in his house at Uddinapally, the police have not registered any case and neither have they started any investigation into the incident. Pastor Paul Chinnaswamy lives with his wife, Beulah Solomon (49), and has 4 daughters – Lakhshmi, Nagalaxmi, Manjula and Baby and a son, Luka, some of whom are married now. Please pray for them.

– gcic

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