Churches could be demolished due to land dispute

By April 29, 2011

India (MNN) — Two churches in northwest India risk demolition due to a legal dispute over the land.

The churches are both served by Gospel For Asia-supported missionaries. The church buildings, along with hundreds of homes, businesses, and medical clinics, were all served with eviction notices earlier this month.

Although many of the affected homeowners have lived in the area for 30 years, the lot of them were told their buildings were on government property. They would need to leave.

A Gospel For Asia release says the following:

"The land is reported to originally belong to a tribal group that sold portions of it off to the people who went on to build homes and businesses. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the majority of the land purchases and building construction occurred before the state was created.

"The agency serving the eviction notices insists the current residents encroached on the property, and they must now leave so it can be used for public purposes."

Two neighborhoods are affected. One is home to mostly poor day laborers and some government employees. The other is home to a middle class teachers, medical professionals, engineers and businessmen.

The two churches, of course, are also within the disputed area. The churches have had fruitful ministries with combined congregations of about 75 people. Many have come to Christ as a result of the churches, and forced evictions certainly would not help ministry.

Prayer is in order. Pray for the believers who may lose their homes, and pray that the Lord would keep the churches from demolition. Pray that ministry would be able to continue so that many more might come to the Lord.

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