12/01/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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Three churches attacked in two days in Tamil Nadu

Church buildings belonging to the Church of South India are targeted. Christian leader says attacks are unwarranted against a minority that wants to “live in peace.” He pleads with the authorities to provide protection.
Coimbatore (AsiaNews) – A group of Hindu extremists attacked a new Christian Church, the Church of South India, in Sulur, in suburban Coimbatore, a city in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The attackers struck yesterday. After they broke the church’s windows, they threw stones inside the building. A bag containing a bottle of petrol, a diesel can and cotton waste was found after the incident. It is evidence that the attackers were planning to set fire to the place of worship.

Local Christian leaders believe that the goal was to create panic among local non-Hindus. “This attack in the wee hours of Monday is the third of its kind in two days in Tamil Nadu,” Sajan George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christian (GCIC), told AsiaNews.

On Sunday, a bomb ripped through a wall at a CSI church at Thammathukonam. Late on the same day, “a statue of St Francis Xavier was desecrated by fundamentalists at Konamkade near Colachel, Tamil Nadu, when the local congregation was preparing an Advent procession.”

“These attacks against India’s Christian minority are a shame for the country’s secular soul,” he said. “Christians live in and want peace. These incidents should lead the authorities to take the necessary measures to guarantee the security of places of worship.” (NC)

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