By BosNewsLife Asia Service
NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)– Hindu extremists burned down a church in India’s state of Andhra Pradesh causing serious injury to the pastor in his attempts to extinguish the fire, rights investigators said Thursday, January 28.
U.S-based International Christian Concern (ICC) said a group of people broke into the Memorial Gypsy Church January 22 and set it on fire after dousing the building in several gallons of kerosene oil. “The fire destroyed church furniture, carpets, electrical wires, fans, a lectern, song books, prayer books and Bibles.”
The damage has been estimated at 35,000 Rupees ($755), a huge amount in this impoverished area.
Pastor Kumara Nayak was rushed to a local hospital because he sustained third degree burns all over his body after his unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the flames in his church, ICC added. He was still in hospital, Thursday, January 28, Christians said.
The sub-inspector of the local Pahadi Sharif Police Station, Lakhsmi Kandh Reddy, reportedly said that his forces were trying to arrest the suspects in the attack.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho, told BosNewsLife in a statement that this was no isolated incident. “Hindu radicals have stepped up attacks against Christians and churches in India. We are deeply concerned about this latest attack on Memorial Gypsy Church.”
He said ICC has urged Indian officials “to take all the necessary steps to arrest the perpetrators of the church arson.”