Pastor Philip, a resident of Thanam village in Parawada Mandal looks after two churches – one at Thanam village and the other at Boddapuvanipalem village. The church at Boddapuvanipalem village was built within the Upparulu community in 2004.
The Upparulu community people came to the village 12 years ago in search of work.oddapuvanipalem village is situated next to the industrial park and also the Pharma City situated in Parawada mandal. The Upparulu community that lives on earth removing work worked in various construction sites in the industrial park.
Eight families came and settled beside a hill adjacent to Boddapuvanipalem village. And now there are around 25 to 30 families living in thatched huts at the same place.
Pastor Philip happened to get in touch with this community while he was sharing the gospel in the villages surrounding Thanam. Later he constructed a thatched prayer house with their help. Initially the villagers thought that the pastor was building a house for him. But when they found out that it was for a church, some of them raised objections.
Recently a road was laid into the village, starting from the church. The villagers were not happy about the church being at the entrance to the village. Laxman, the ex-sarpanch of the village asked the Pastor to shift the church to another place. They threatened the Upparulu community saying if they failed to do so, they would evict the whole Uppaluru community from the place.
On 6 July 2010, the Pastor along with a prayer group had a meeting at his place. Around seven Pastors attended the meeting, which offended the former sarpanch and he threatened to attack them “if they do not leave”. But when the Pastors stood firm, he smashed the utensils of the Pastor and again asked them to leave. On coming to know of the situation, the local leadership of All India Christian Council rushed to the scene.
The leadership talked to the agitating people first. Laxman said he did not have any problem with the church but “the problem is with the villagers who do not want the church in the village”. Finding everything all right, the leadership left the place. Later the villagers, led by Laxman, threatened the Uppaluru community again, not allowing them to draw water from the village. Then they pulled down the church.
The Christian Council leadership has condemned the attack on the church and is in the process of taking help from the administration to find an amicable solution in the area.