Date: June 8, 2019
India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, a Christian school and hostel was demolished by government officials in India’s eastern state of Odisha. According to the school’s founder, the officials were influenced by Hindu extremists.
In 2015, Vijay Kumar Pusuru established a small mission school near the village of Lichapeta, located in Odisha. According to Morning Star News, Pusuru built the school and attached a hostel on a plot of land that was allotted to him in the Motu village revenue office.
About a year and a half ago, the leader of the local Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) group opened another school in the area. According to Pusuru, the leader of the RSS then influenced local government officials into demolishing his school and hostel, which was serving 250 students.
According to Morning Star News, the RSS leader alleged that Pusuru was running a mission school and was distributing Bibles to the children and conducting Christian prayer every morning and evening.
“Government officials came to visit the children and questioned the children about prayers,” Pusuru told Morning Star News. “The children informed them that there are no morning-evening prayers, but that prayer is a part of the school assembly every morning.”
After this “investigation”, the district collector ordered that Pusuru’s school and hostel be demolished. On May 13, workers showed up at Pusuru’s property and demolished the school, leaving Pusuru and his family homeless.
False accusations of religious conversions are often used by Hindu radicals to harass Christians. A false narrative that Christians are forcefully converting Hindus in mass is widely perpetuated by Hindu nationalists. However, this narrative is not supported by India’s own census data. According to that data, India’s Christian population has remained just 2.3% of the total population since 1951.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for this Christian community to remain strong in their faith. Pray for protection and a new home for the school’s founder. Pray for these government officials to resist extremist influences.