Monday, February 6, 2023

Illegal church constructed in a no Christian village in Gujarat, locals protest

MahaKrishnan

Hindus of a village in Gujarat protested against building a church superseding the local panchayat’s decision to not allow it. The villagers say that there are no Christians in the village and thus no need for a church. They submitted a memorandum to the district collector demanding strict action.

Residents of a village, Kaprada in Valsad, Gujarat protested against construction of an illegal church. Villagers are against the construction as there is no Christian in the village in need of a place of worship. They say that an employee at the forest department has claimed to be a Christian and is behind the church construction. But he has not declared himself as a Christian in the government records, they say. The church is being built illegally superseding the panchayat’s decision to not allow it. Following this, villagers, including the Sarpanch submitted a memorandum to the district collector seeking strict action against the wrongdoers.

An Opindia report on the issue said, “As per the memorandum, one Chandarbhai Chaudhary, a local villager, works in the local forest department and has claimed that he is Christian. However, he has not registered himself as a Christian in the government office. Local villagers believe he is responsible for the construction of the church.”

Villagers have also complained that Hindus are targeted by missionaries who say “wrong and abusive” things about Hindu deities to discourage them from following Hindu dharma. They have expressed worry that such Hindus are being lured into converting to Christianity. 

Even though there are no Christians in the villages as per government records, nearly 90 people of 20 families have converted in recent times per their accounts. Other allegations like building churches in forest and government land have also been leveled against the missionaries.

In October 2022, Christians had converted an ancient Hindu temple into a church in Tapi district of Gujarat. Hindus reached the ancient holy site to offer prayers as the festival of Navratri was going on. A mob of Christians arrived at the same time and began creating a scene by not allowing Hindus to go up the hill. A resolution was passed to renovate the centuries old temple and Christians who are majority in the village used the funds allocated to convert it into a church.

(This story was posted first on Hindu Post and it is being republished here with permission.)

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