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Pastor Threatened by Police for Constructing Church Building in Telangana

Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 16:08 (IST)

A pastor who was building a new church in Telangana has been threatened by the police on Nov. 26 and forced to stop the construction.

Pr Keshav Kumar of Philadelphia Church was in-charge of a small church in Ghatkesar suburb of Ghatkesar mandal in Medchal district of Telangana, which is a part of the Zion Ministries and has been working in the area since 1988. The church building, which was built in 1994 with proper government approvals, needed to be expanded. So Kumar and the church members decided to enlarge the existing space and began erecting pillars for a new building behind the existing one.

However, a few Hindu fundamentalists started opposing the work and complained to the District Panchayat, the revenue office and eventually the police to stop the pastor from constructing the new building.

"When we dismantled the old church and began new construction the people who are opposing us objected to the construction of the new building. They asked us to get permission," said Kumar.

"Church members who are also ward members in the ward council went and explained our stand to the Collector's office and the District Panchayat. But now they have gone to the police alleging that there will be a communal problem if the Church is built. The police officials came and were asking for permission documents to construct the new structure," he added.

According to Evangelical Fellowship India, the radical group claims that the present Christians in the area were converts from Hinduism from the last 20 years.

The opposition of the Hindu radicals and the intervention of the officials have left the pastor in a state of fear and insecurity that he may be beaten up or arrested any time.