Christians alarmed as a Church in UP is turned into Hindu Temple

Published 28 August 2014  |  
A Cross on top of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Asroi village, near Aligarh city, Uttar Pradesh.

Christians are alarmed as the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Asroi village, some 30km south of Aligarh city, Uttar Pradesh was turned into a Hindu Temple overnight reportedly after 71 Valmikis returned to Hinduism.

On Tuesday, elaborate shuddhi karan (purification) ceremony was held inside the church and a portrait of Shiva was installed; and the cross inside the church was removed.

Hindu groups in Aligarh has termed it as "successful ghar wapasi" (recoversion) of 72 Valmikis who embraced Christianity in 1995.

Meanwhile, Christians have raised doubt over such move.

Mr. Osmond Charles, a Christian lawyer and community leader in Aligarh isn't convinced and raised his doubt. "Ghar wapasi sounds like a conspirary," he was quoted by the Times of India as saying.

"Sometimes we hear 'love jihad' and now we have 'ghar wapasi'. Is this the sing of a Hindu Rashtra in the making?" Charles cautioned.

Meanwhile, Rev. Jonathan Lal, pastor at City Methodist Church lamented the purification pooja that took place inside the church which belongs to the Seventh-day Adventists. "Such an activity shouldn't have taken place there. Faith is a personal matter but havan inside a church is not," he said.

The reconversion has reportedly created some anxiety among locals as police increased patrolling of the area.


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