Angry villagers on Sunday forced congregants out of a church and razed down the church building at Chileka in Blantyre over disagreements between the church and Gule Wamkulu.
The attack on the church happened at around 8AM and came days after a dispute over funeral rites for a chief in the area.
Witnesses said the angry villagers who were carrying pangas and other weapons stormed the church and forced the congregants out. The mob then set fire to the church building as well as a parameter fence and a motor vehicle.
State broadcaster MBC reported that the dispute between the church and the community started a few days ago following the death of Group Village Headman Nkata in Chileka.
The chief was a Gule Wamkulu member but converted to Christianity and there were disagreements over funeral rites to be followed. A church spokesperson described the situation durin the funeral as hostile.
Leader of the church, Overtone Makuta, accused members of the Gule Wamkulu of being responsible for the attack.
Chileka Police said on Sunday they had arrested three villagers in connection to the attack.