04/13/2017, 14.00
INDIA

Cross desecrated in Mumbai: garland of slippers twisted around body of Christ

by Nirmala Carvalho

The desecration was discovered by a faithful who visited the church to pray. The case was registered against unknown persons. Christian Leaders condemns yet another act of intimidation against the Christian minority. "Clear indication of awakening sectarian strife".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Unknown criminals have desecrated a cross in Santacruz West, an affluent suburb of Mumbai (Maharashtra). The desecration of the cross in the local church took place yesterday. A woman of 42 entered the place of worship around 7 in the morning to pray. She went to the altar and noted that the cross had been "decorated" with a garland of slippers. Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemns yet another act of intimidation against Christians that falls in a week, Holy Week, already marked by numerous incidents of violence and abuse against the minority and its sacred places.

 

The case was registered against unknown assailants at the local police station in accordance with sections 295 (damage or injuries to a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 427 (act of vandalism causing damage amounting 50 rupees) of the Indian penal Code.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) said, "GCIC decries the desecration of the Holy Cross, which deeply wounds our Religious Sentiments especially during Holy Week, This is most shameful that a garland of slippers was put on the Sacred Corpus of Jesus Christ. In Indian traditions, flower garlands are used to venerate and honour and here the Sacred Body of Jesus was garlanded with slippers- this is a clear indication of rousing communal disharmony and wounding religious sentiments, and a move to incite the Christian people with this shameful act”.

The president of the GCIC notes that what happened yesterday is the "second episode of desecration in the space of two months in Mumbai, after the decapitated statue of the Virgin in Kurla district". This is even more sad, he concludes, because "Mumbai is the financial and cosmopolitan capital, tolerant of all religions. Here it is really common to see people of all castes and faiths who flock to Marian shrines and bring offerings to the Virgin Mary like coconuts, flowers, candles, and more. So adorning the sacred body of Jesus with a garland of slippers is a malicious act intentionally done".

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