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  • » 08/17/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Catholic church attacked in Pune



    St. Mary’s Malankara Catholic Church was desecrated on Monday. It is the first attack against a Syro-Malankar community in Pune, Maharashtra. A ceremony to purify the building was held yesterday. Anti-Christian violence is also recorded in Kerala.
    Pune (AsiaNews/Agencies) – St Mary’s Malankara Catholic Church in Pune’s Warje Malwadi neighbourhood was attacked on Monday. Overnight, someone entered the building and desecrated it: insulting graffiti were scribbled on the walls, religious paintings were defaced and part of the tabernacle was set on fire. Copies of the Bible and prayer books were ripped, pages strewn across the floor.

    This is the first incident of its kind involving Pune’s Syro-Malankar community. Traditionally, the community has lived in peace with other religious groups, providing education, social and medical services to all.

    Mgr Thomas Dabre, bishop of Pune and Mgr Jacob Mar Barnabas, as well as the Pune Catholic Association and the broader Catholic community have condemned the act. They also appealed to the state of Maharashtra to bring the culprits to justice.

    Yesterday, Fr Varghese Valikodath, the priest in charge of St Mary’s Parish church, celebrated a Mass to purify the building. The faithful and local priests participated in great number to the service.

    More than 3,000 attacks have been recorded against Indian Catholic churches in the past few years. Last Saturday, the glass protecting an image of Christ in St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Vashicherry, Alapuzhka, in Kerala, was also smashed, the second attack this month.
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    See also

    27/10/2009 INDIA
    Maharashtra, 6,000 Christians reconverted to Hinduism by extremist groups
    Reconversion occurs in a large-scale and highly publicised ceremony. According to the Global Council of Indian Christians, this kind of propaganda relies on the authorities’ complicity and is designed to “disrupt communal harmony”. Anti-Christian violence continues unabated.

    02/10/2008 INDIA
    Anti-Christian violence continues in Orissa
    Three villages are attacked in Kandhamal district. Central government sends in ten more paramilitary companies. Christians complain about police and government inaction. A Clarist nun dies from malaria contracted in the forest where she had fled; she wanted to go back to her work in Orissa. A Protestant church is attacked in Tamil Nadu.

    25/09/2008 INDIA
    Despite curfew a hundred homes and two churches set on fire overnight in Orissa
    Christians are scared of night-time attacks. Radical Hindus attack police, guilty in their eyes of jailing some of their fellow co-religionists involved in violence in past days. Christians forced to reconvert are also forced to burn churches and homes of other Christians. Terrorism sponsored by the state of Orissa comes in for harsh criticism.

    30/09/2008 INDIA
    Anti-Christian violence getting worse
    Since 24 August when the pogrom began 59 Christians have been killed, 18,000 injured, 177 churches destroyed or damaged, 4,300 homes set on fire, and 13 schools and colleges laid waste.

    02/03/2006 INDIA
    Rajasthan to adopt anti-conversion law
    State government is led by nationalist BJP. Catholics oppose the bill but local authorities turn a deaf ear to their appeals. With this law, the government is giving its tacit approval to anti-Christian violence, says bishop of Jaipur.



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