During the night of June 12th, the Real Peace Church in Vaylur, Tamil Nadu, was set on fire by suspected Hindu nationalists. The fire destroyed the roof, which was made of coconut leaves and bamboo. By the time Pastor Ramesh noticed the flames and smoke, all the building's contents were burned and considerable structural damage had taken place. The pastor sees this as part of the ongoing persecution endured by the church which consists of approximately 100 members.
A police report has been filed, since the possibility of an electrical fire was ruled out because the building is not connected to any source of power. Despite the destruction and significant loss, Pastor Ramesh is able to say the following statement: "We don't suspect anyone in particular. People of all faiths come here to pray. Someone may have done it out of jealousy, but we forgive...." For more information on the persecution of Christians in India, go to our online country report.
Remember Pastor Ramesh and the members of Real Peace Church in your prayers. May they have the wisdom required to determine the best course of action moving forward, as well as the strength needed to endure. Praise God for the forgiveness He does offer; may those responsible for this attack readily receive it and experience the resulting peace that comes with acknowledging the need for Christ's atoning provision for their sin.