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  • » 01/05/2015, 00.00

    INDIA

    Delhi: crèche destroyed by fire in a Catholic church

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The police closed the case. The clergyman blames arson because CCTV videos show something being poured on the crèche. For Christian leader, this is "a serious violation of the secular credentials of the Indian Constitution."

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - For India's Christians, 2015 began with a bleak note. Last Saturday, a fire destroyed a crèche in a New Delhi Catholic church in the early hours of the morning.

    After investigating the case, police said an electrical short circuit caused the fire, and closed the case. However, for the local parish priest Fr Cyril Patrick, who was the first on the scene, the fire was deliberate, set to damage the church.

    "I do not want to blame anyone in particular," the priest said, "but CCTV videos show something being poured [on the Nativity Scene] from the top."

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said that what happened is "a serious violation of the secular credentials of the Indian Constitution."

    In addition to last year's cases of re-conversion to Hinduism (Ghar Wapsi or 'return home'), the fire "portends hard times for the Christian minority, which already feels vulnerable by a nation-wide anti-conversion law proposed by the Janata Bharatiya Party (BJP)".

    The BJP, a Hindu ultra-nationalist party with close ties to Sangh Parivar radical groups (responsible for attacks and violence against minorities), now controls the central government.

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    See also

    26/06/2007 INDIA
    Karnataka, a priest and four Christians are beaten
    A group of Hindu fundamentalists carried out an unprovoked attack on the Christians as they waited to carry out medical tests. Following the beating they were dragged to the police who wanted to arrest them. Currently they have been hospitalized under shock.

    11/09/2009 INDIA
    Vandals destroy glass windows and statues in a church in Bangalore
    The attack takes place one year from the violence in Orissa and Karnataka. Last year there were 112 attacks, this year already 20. The police have orders to shoot on sight.

    28/10/2005 INDIA
    Attack against Udaipur sisters "targeted all missionaries"

    The bishop of the diocese told AsiaNews he is "worried" because violence against Christians in Rajasthan "is increasing all the time". The spokesman of the bishops' conference: "We have never broken the law and proselytism charges are unfounded".



    11/04/2006 INDIA
    Conversions and missionaries: our society's greatest threat, says Hindu leader

    Speaking in the heart of the newly set up diocese of Jashpur, the BJP chairman launched an umpteenth attack against missionaries, "corrupters of the poor". The Indian Church countered: "It's easy to put the blame for all society's ills on a small, defenceless community."



    18/03/2006 INDIA
    Lepers protest Gujarat decision to stop sisters running hospital

    The sick people fear they will once again have to face marginalization and rejection. The government says this is but an administrative decision that does not arise from Hindutva ideological motives.





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