South Asia

Church vandalised and cross desecrated in Faridabad

A Church was completely vandalized and a cross desecrated by a mob of Hindu extremists earlier this month in the Indian state of Haryana.

Pastor KG Matthews, 63, was conducting a morning service in one of the two churches he is responsible for in the Rehoboth Fellowship Church in the Nehru colony of Faridabad, when he received news of the attack on Sunday 3 September. On reaching his church he found it badly damaged.

He said, “About 40 members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS – a Hindu right-wing organization] broke into my Church, which was locked and damaged the entire property of the Church including chairs, tables, benches, musical instruments besides breaking the main door and the door of another room inside the Church. “They broke the cross made from cement which was engraved above the door post of the Church and applied cow-dung on the desecrated cross”, said Pastor K. G. Mathew in an interview with Global Christian News.

Cow-dung on the desecrated Cross of the Rehoboth Fellowship Church 

“As I was conducting service elsewhere, nobody was in this Church at the time of the attack thus no one got injured,” said Pastor Mathews. Mathews was born in the southern Indian state of Kerala and moved to North India 42 years ago and since then has been ministering in the locality. He has been running this Church for the past 15 years.

“I have been running a school for the underprivileged children of drug addicts who live in the surrounding slums,” said Mathew. Mathew reached the police post to complain about the attack, where he found another Pastor Abraham Thomas, who was brought in by the RSS mob.

“I came to know in the police station that the same Hindu mob had also vandalised my Church. The police initially were not willing to hear my complaint, they heard the allegation levied on us by the Hindu extremists and then came to visit my Church. After the police, themselves witnessed the wanton destruction caused by the extremists, they realised the truth in my statements,” said Mathews.

The Police offered police-protection to the Rehoboth Fellowship Church for their Sunday services and “two constables were sent to guard my Church during the worship service last Sunday (10 Sep)”. No action has been reported to have taken place against the Hindu extremists.