Legal issues stop church building project

By June 22, 2011

South Asia (MNN) — Gospel for Asia missionary Satyankar Gedam and his congregation have been stopped in their construction of a new church in a large urban area of South Asia. The building was almost finished when anti-Christian extremists charged them with breaking building codes of the area and then defaced the site.

The extremists claim, "You cannot build any church building in this locality. You are only allowed to construct a house to live in, not a church." They went on to deface the church property, painting on the front wall of the church: "This is disputed land." 

As Christian congregations in South Asia are blessed with growth in Christ, the need for a building becomes desperate. Crowding into homes or rented buildings becomes a struggle with the large number of people accepting Christ.

In these circumstances, a church building becomes more than just another meeting place. It is a designated area for worship and fellowship among believers. As the church grows in South Asia, the need for church buildings grows as well.

However, with the growth of the church, opposition also rises. It is not uncommon for anti-Christian extremists to dispute church building projects in South Asia. According to GFA, several tactics have been used against other congregations in the past. Legal issues are raised to force the construction to halt, and sites and church members are even attacked.

Currently, Gedam and his congregation are appealing to the local authorities to drop the legal charges. Gedam is also encouraging his congregation to see beyond the obstacles and not be discouraged by this delay in plans.

James 1:2-3 reads, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." (NIV)

Pray that God would change the hearts of those opposing His work and that the authorities would dismiss the legal charges. Please also pray for Gedam and his congregation that they would be patient in waiting for God's direction.

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