SPICE Hostel Attacked

GRANTHAM, Pa. (August 27, 2008)–At mid-day on Tuesday, August 26, Hindu fundamentalists attacked the BIC Girls Hostel at Nuagaon, India, setting fire to the buildings and bombing the campus. According to B.R., regional administrator for South Asia, the staff and children were already on high alert as violence against Christians has escalated across the Kandhamal district in recent days, and so they were able to escape into hiding. There were also ten policemen at the hostel, and they, too, fled as the mob approached.

Staff from the Nuagaon facility, speaking by telephone with B.R., passed along word that a nearby Brethren in Christ church had been destroyed along with the hostel. The mob also demolished the water tank and well that serviced the hostel, and also a boundary wall that was under construction.

In an email message to Chris Sharp, executive director of BIC World Missions, B.R. calls upon North American churches to “keep praying, and especially for the safety of the girls from the Nuagaon hostel who are not able to go back to their homes because of the trouble. Tell others to pray for us in Orissa. The situation is very tense and uncontrollable.”

The Nuagaon hostel is one of nine such facilities that are funded through the Scholarship Program for International Children’s Education (SPICE). The SPICE program originated in India in the 1950s and enlarged as the national church grew. SPICE operates as a sponsorship program for Brethren in Christ children in the Indian states of Bihar and Orissa, as well as in Nepal. Between 80 and 120 children live in each hostel. For more about the SPICE program, click here.