Syro-Malabar church demolished in Delhi
by Nirmala Carvalho

According to local authorities, the church construction was illegal; however, the matter was before a court. For the Global Council of Indian Christians, “Christians are a discriminated minority”.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - A Syro-Malabar church in Lado Sarai, Delhi, was torn down today. This followed an order by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) issued on 9 June.

According to the DDA, the building was illegal, but church members believe that the DDA acted on its own initiative pre-empt the court before it could examine the case.

Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), agrees. “The Syrian Malabar church in Delhi was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority” even though the dispute “is pending before a court”.

“The GCIC strongly protests against the demolition; this is an anti-Christian act. The church was targeted because Christians are a discriminated minority,” George told AsiaNews.

Earlier this month Pope Francis wrote a letter to the members of the Syro-Malabar Church, inviting them to follow the “uniform mode of celebrating the Holy Qurbana (Mass), considering this an important step towards increasing stability and ecclesial communion within the whole body of your beloved Church.”

Founded in the Malabar Coast (modern-day Kerala), the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a sui iuris major archdiocese that follows the East Syriac rite.