» 05/25/2012, 00.00
Indian Kashmir, "unknown arsonists" set fire to a Catholic church
Main entrance burned, the rest preserved thanks to intervention of a security guard. Two assailants unknown. The pastor of Holy Family: "We are concerned, it is a premeditated attack." The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) calls for the intervention of chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir to protect the Christian community in the state.
Srinagar (AsiaNews) - An "planned" attack, with the clear goal of "scaring to death the Christian community. The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir must act to ensure security for the faithful and places of worship", says Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), reacting to AsiaNews to the arson attack on the Holy Family Catholic Church in Srinagar, two days ago. The main entrance was completely destroyed, but the timely intervention of a security guard prevented the fire from degenerating. Cameras captured two attacker who targeted the Church in the evening (20.30 hours the local, ed) their names are still unknown. All Christian communities in the valley of Kashmir have expressed solidarity with the Catholic Church.
The films show two men taking advantage of the temporary absence of the security guard. In those moments, the attackers threw petrol and other flammable material at the front door, then set it on fire. Fortunately, the guard came back in time to stop the fire to spreading: the entire building structure is made of wood.
Fr. Mathew Thomas, pastor of Holy Family, told AsiaNews: "What happened to us is very worrying. Watching the video, you understand that it is a premeditated attack, and that the two attackers were well aware of what happens in church. At the end of January, my bike was burnt, we have not found out why, nor who the culprits were. It was clear that even then, the goal was the church. On two other occasions, the Virgin has interceded for us. May She protect us and save us forever. "
"What happened - said the president of the GCIC - is not an isolated case. I think the persecution suffered by Rev. CM Khanna over baptising young Muslims, or the couple arrested while at the market. With these gestures, the Muslim community is trying to intimidate the Christian minority. But there are not even 400 Christians in Srinagar: I appeal to Omar Abdullah, chief minister, a Muslim who studied in Christian institutions. He must protect the entire population of Srinagar, including minorities. "
The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir (the only Indian state with a Muslim majority, ed) attended Burn Hall School, a prestigious Catholic institution directed by Fr. Jim Borst, Dutch missionary, for years accused of proselytizing.
North Sumatra, two Protestant churches burnt: "too many faithful and too many prayers"
At least 1,000 people set fire to the Pentecostal community places of worship. According to local Muslims, the two buildings did not have the legal permits as "churches." The Nahdlatul Ulama admits the violence of radical Islamists against Christians. In 2009 in Indonesia, 35 cases of violation of religious freedom, 28 against Christians.
Indian Kashmir: Christians arrested for "promoting enmity"
According to police Mafford Maharaj Singh, 62, and his wife Kusum, 60, were distributing Christian pamphlets disturbing the local population. Denial of the children: "They were in Srinagar for a wedding. A vendor found out their faith, insulted them and denounced them. "They risk three to five years in prison.
August 10: day of mourning against discrimination of Christians and Muslim Dalits
On August 10, 1950 laws were approved that discriminate against Christians and Muslims Dalits. Archbishop Joji, himself a Dalit Bishop, explains the strong social desire to eliminate discrimination and remembers the example of Mother Teresa.
22/09/2008 ITALY - INDIA
Cardinal Bagnasco: events in India underscore urgency of protecting religious freedom
What is happening in India and the episodes of anti-Christian persecution in Pakistan and Iraq emphasize how religious freedom is the cornerstone of the civilization of human rights, and the guarantee of authentic pluralism and true democracy.
Indian Kashmir, two Christians arrested on false charges of forced conversions
A Muslim mob attacked two men, five women and two children, all of English origin. The police prevented the destruction of their house, but have arrested two Christians. Leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "The growing anti-Christian intolerance is alarming."
VATICAN - ASIA
The world is in urgent need of the Church's mission
October is a month devoted to awakening the call to mission among Christians. In the world there is indifference or enmity towards God and the Church. Religions are considered the source of all wars. Christianity is the encounter with a Person who changes the life of the believer and places him at the service of the wounds of the world, torn by frustrations and fratricidal wars. The example of the Patriarch of Baghdad and of the President of South Korea.
12/10/2017 HONG KONG - CHINA
12/10/2017 VATICAN - ITALY
13/10/2017 VATICAN - LEBANON
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.