A church in the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India, has been set ablaze by a group of unknown assailants. The enormous fire completely destroyed the roof and decimated furniture, speaker boxes and amplifiers, causing damages of around $2,700.
Members of the church suspect a group of suspected Hindu nationalists to have been behind the brutal attack, with several assaults on believers taking place across the region in recent months.
Local sources note that the church's leader, Pastor Ramesh, saw flames and thick smoke rising up from the church early on the morning of 13th June. Quickly, the entire roof - which is made of coconut leaves and bamboo - was completely destroyed.
Pastor Ramesh told International Christian Concern: “I was shocked for a moment looking at the church engulfed with flames and smoke. I was broken, and it was so painful, there was absolutely no way to save anything from inside the church. The church structure, instruments, and furniture inside the church are ten years of hard labor."
Ramesh added that he has since filed a report with the local police.
He said: "After I recovered from the shock, I filed a formal complaint with the police, and the police promised that they carry on the investigation.”
Three years ago, in the same district, a church leader was murdered just five miles from where Pastor Ramesh leads his congregation. Ramesh explained: "This place has been a difficult place for Christians, and there are numerous instances where the Christians have been facing increased intimidations."