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Hindus tear down Protestant church
Religious communities to meet to resolve building dispute
- ucanews.com reporter, Chandigarh
- July 17, 2012
A 20-member committee comprising 10 members each from the Christian and Hindu communities in a village in HaryanaÂ state has been formed to determine whether construction should continue. Building work had started just five days before theÂ attack.
The head of the Hindu delegation, Hanuman Prasad Bishnoi, claimed the majority of villagers were against the church's construction. Bishnoi also serves as theÂ SarpanchÂ (head) of Patli Dabar village inÂ the northern state's Sirsa district.
ApartÂ from two people who have converted to Christianity from Hinduism, none of those associated with the church are from the village, he said.
He also alleged that Messiah Samiti activists are luring villagers with money for proselytizing purposes.
Pastor Aliyakim Jena of the Protestant Haryana Messiah Samiti sect, said that the village housed about 25 Christian families. â€śIf there were no Christians there, construction of a church would not have taken place.â€ť
A local police official, Ramesh Chander, said the committee will give its recommendation by July 29.
â€śOn their own, representatives of both communities have promised to settle the issue amicably,â€ť he said.
A villager, Jitender (goes by single name) who Â converted to Christianity from Hinduism said a few individuals in the village are instigating others against the construction of the church.
â€śItâ€™s our constitutional right to choose our religion and construct our place of worship. But the local administration is siding with people who demolished the church,â€ť he said.