Arson destroys Baptist World Alliance offices in India.

By September 25, 2003

India (MNN)–In Calcutta, India, The Evangelical Literature Depot, the publishing and printing offices of Zac Patnaik, one of the twelve Vice-presidents of the Baptist World Alliance, were destroyed by fire, in what is suspected to be the work of vandals.

Fire officials estimate the damage at more than $350,000, but the greater loss, according to the Patnaik is “the twenty years of work that has been lost.”

The jobs of more than 140 staff have been affected and a school for refugee children in Eastern Nepal, as profits from the business cafeteria and the Publishing Department were used to support the children.

Printing of copies of the Baptist World, the quarterly publication of the BWA that went out to India, Bhutan, Nepal and other countries will be indefinitely delayed.

In his report, Patnaik said that everything in the offices has been charred by the fire and the newly decorated offices were burnt to ashes. He asks Baptists to pray for him and his staff and states his great confidence in God. “I am sure in His time, God will solve the problem. My faith is strong and continues to grow,” he writes.

Baptist World Aid has sent a donation to help rebuild and the BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz expressed the grief and concern and thankfulness of Baptists around the world who have been helped in many ways by Patnaik. Others who want to support this work in Kolkata can forward a donation to BWAid.

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