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Jalandhar: Rarity a decade ago, churches in villages now common sight

Jalandhar: Rarity a decade ago, churches in villages now common sight

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, January 31

“Baari barsi khatan gaya si, roohan khat ke leaeya, sannu Yesu ne, de ke khoon bachaya.” The ‘boli’ can be heard in almost every house around the Church of Signs and Wonders at Khambra where villagers follow their “young and charismatic” pastor Ankur Yoseph Narula.

Large following in Doaba

While big churches were a rarity in villages a decade ago, the successful ministeries of Doaba’s new age prophets have led to many villages’ skyline dotted with new church spires

On December 20, 2022, thousands of followers joined a huge procession taken out through the city on a call by the church.

Narula termed it the “biggest Christmas rally” so far. It was just an indication about how people from all religious dispensations in Doaba embracing the Christianity.

BJP leader Ranjit Singh Khojewal says, “I have great respect for the religion, but the independent churches are a new form. My question is, why they put up big portraits pastors, not of Jesus Christ?”

Among the most popular ministeries in Jalandhar are Narula’s church, the Open Door Church at Khojewal, run by pastor Harpreet Deol and the Church of Glory and Wisdom at Tajpur, run by Bajinder Singh.

The Church of Signs and Wonders at Khambra, which was started only in 2008, has 12 branches in Gurdaspur, Ludhiana, Patiala, Kapurthala, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Nadala, Barnala, Bathinda, Moga and New Chandigarh. The church also has branches in West Bengal, Bihar, UP and weekly services are held in London, Toronto, New York, Germany, Birmingham, New Zealand, Dubai, California, Sydney, Melbourne and Surrey. Narula has 1.34 million subscribers on YouTube and 1,11,000 followers on Instagram and Deol has 30.6k followers on Instagram.

While big churches were a rarity in villages a decade or two ago, the lucrative and successful ministeries of Doaba’s new age prophets and apostles have led to many villages’ skyline dotted with new church spires. Their roaring success has inspired many to become self-styled pastors.

A controversies erupted at the Tajpur church in September last year when a four-year-old suffering from cancer died during a healing session. The case came to the fore when the girl’s family levelled allegations.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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