07/06/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – The Sunday worship service at a house church in India’s Telangana state was recently disrupted and threatened by Hindu radicals. According to the pastor leading the service, this is the third Sunday in a row that the worship service has been disrupted by radicals.
On Sunday, June 30, Hindu radicals attacked and disrupted the Sunday worship service of a house church being led by Mrs. Sheeja in Kushaiguda, a colony located near Hyderabad. According to Sheeja, the radicals threatened dire consequences if the Christians continued to gather and participate in Christian worship services.
“Four men forced themselves into the hall while Sunday worship was going on,” Sheeja told International Christian Concern (ICC). “They started to yell at us and all that I could make out of their yelling was that I should stop worship and should not hold prayers. This is the third Sunday in a row that we have been threatened. It was very aggressive and scary. I felt that they were going to attack me as they came in.”
“I have asked my church members not to clap their hands during the praise and worship time to avoid any kind of noise,” Sheeja said, explaining her attempts to appease local radicals to ICC. “We have also entirely stopped using musical instruments as this would provoke the radicals who are looking for an excuse to attack the worship service.”
Following the disruption and threats, Sheeja met with local colony leaders. According to Sheeja, these leaders sided with the radicals and told Sheeja that she must stop holding Christian worship services in the Kushaiguda colony.
Sheeja has been involved in church planting for over 13 years. She has established several house church congregations around Hyderabad. The Kushaiguda congregation is the latest of several house churches planted by Sheeja. Fifteen people currently gather every Sunday for worship in Kushaiguda, where there is no other place for local Christians to gather for worship.