SANGAMESHWAR, Maharashtra — (International Christian Concern) – “All that the Hindu radicals want is for Sangameshwar to be a ‘Christian-free’ village,” Pastor Srinivas Sapa, a 42-year-old Christian resident of Sangameshwar, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Of all the 50 odd Christians who are native to Sangameshwar, most were born in the village and are now panicked over the situation.”
Located 80 miles north of Hyderabad, the capital of India’s Telangana state, Sangameshwar has become one of the most recent sites of Christian persecution in India. In the early hours of July 14, a group of Hindu radicals, led by Loyapalli Srinivas Rao and Jettamaina Naresh Kumar, completely demolished the only church building in Sangameshwar. The building that was only three years old, built of bricks, cement, and iron sheets, was no more.
“The Hindu radicals were opposed when we decided to buy land for the church building about five years ago,” Pastor Sapa told ICC. “None of [the] villagers were willing to sell their land for the church, as they were instructed, even threatened, by Hindu radicals not to sell.”