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    » 02/02/2015, 00.00

    INDIA

    Delhi, another Catholic church vandalized. The fifth in two months



    The Pastor of Saint Alphonsa’s in Vasant Kunj, the central area of the capital, found the tabernacle open and the ciborium missing. The Hosts were scattered on the ground and on the altar. Unclear whether this is a theft attempt or gesture in hatred of the faith.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Last night another Catholic church in New Delhi was vandalized, the Church of Saint Alphonsa in Vasant Kunj, central district of the Indian capital. Fr. Vincent Salvatore, the parish priest, found the tabernacle open and the ciborium missing. The Hosts were scattered on the altar and on the floor. The Archdiocese of Delhi spokesman Fr. Savarimuthu Sankar, said: "We are not sure if it was just a theft case or a deliberate attempt to create mischief " The act of vandalism is the fifth against a Catholic church in the past two months. Police have launched an investigation.

    The parish is named after Sister Alphonsa, the first woman saint of Asia. The Franciscan nun of the Immaculate Conception was canonized October 12, 2008 by Benedict XVI.

    Diocesan officials have explained that the intruders entered the church after having broken through the lock of the main gate. However, they failed to open the offertory box. Fr. Sarkar noted that the church of Saint Alphonsa had not followed instructions issued by the archdiocese to install CCTV cameras in all the parishes. "Those videos - he admits - would help us identify the culprits".

    The first church attack in Delhi occurred on December 1 with the burning of St Sebastian's Church in Dilshad Garden, east Delhi. A week later, unidentified persons threw stones at Our Lady of Fatima Forane Church Jasola, near Okhla in south Delhi, and broke its window panes during the evening Mass.

    On January 3, a mysterious fire reduced to ashes a Christmas crib kept inside the premises of the Church of Resurrection in Rohini, north Delhi.  The fourth incident occurred when unknown assailants vandalized the Marian Grotto at the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Vikaspuri. In this case, the recordings of the CCTV cameras helped police to identify the culprits.

    Since the rise to power of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ethnic-religious minorities of India speak of an increase in attacks and discrimination against them. Often, the attacks also target the "intimate" sphere of the faith. This is the case of the case Pramod Sahu, the Christian owner of a garage, who January 24 last was attacked by about 25 Hindu extremists because he kept hanging an image of Jesus in his shop. Police have not arrested anyone. "The police reluctance to investigate - Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) told AsiaNews - is a huge problem and a violation of our judicial system. In addition to yet another injustice against the minority Christian ". (NC) 

     

     

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    See also

    10/07/2007 INDIA
    Salesian seminarian attacked in Maharashtra
    The attack took place two days ago near Nashik, a famous Hindu place of pilgrimage. The local bishop said the episode was part of an anti-Christian campaign under way in India that seeks to label the Church’s social ministry as proselytism. The Salesian provincial superior has said the incident will not dampen commitment to the poor and marginalized.

    27/09/2004 INDIA
    Violence will not stop Christian witness, Bishop Fernandez says

    As attacks against Christians continue, the central government pledges protection but local authorities cover for fundamentalists.



    17/03/2005 INDIA
    PM Singh tells bishops minority and Christian Dalit rights will be protected


    27/09/2004 INDIA
    Hindu extremists injure 4 sisters of Mother Teresa


    06/09/2005 INDIA
    Indian bishop: The murder of Mgr Nellickal is a sign of escalating anti-Christian violence

    Mgr Nellickal, vicar-general of Tejpur diocese was found dead with deep cuts to his head. Mgr John Thomas shares memories of him. Great solidarity is expressed also by non-Catholics in the area.





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