05/14/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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A centre for disabled children run by Augustinian nuns attacked in Madhya Pradesh

by Nirmala Carvalho
Unknown attackers threw heavy bricks on the house of the Augustinian nuns in Pipaldhar, in the Diocese of Khandwa. The building is also home to a centre for disabled children. The sisters are enlarging the facility to make it more welcoming. “The attack is an affront against society itself,” said a Christian activist. “Their night-time raid reflects the darkness of their minds and hearts.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The temporary home of Augustinian nuns (OAS) in Pipaldhar, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was attacked in the early hours of the morning, last Tuesday.

Unknown attackers threw heavy bricks on the roof of the building, which is home to rehabilitation centre for children with mental disabilities. Fortunately, at the time of the incident, there were no children. The four nuns inside the building were unharmed.

"It was 3:15 am Tuesday (12 May),” Sister Jaya, from the Congregation of Augustinian nuns, told AsiaNews. “Everyone was asleep, when suddenly heavy bricks were thrown on the roof of the house and fell into the room where we slept. Thanks to the Lord’s Divine Providence, no one was injured and the children were not present at that time. Now we sisters are afraid."

Sister Jaya explained that the nuns had set up a centre for the rehabilitation of children with mental disorders inside their residence, which is located in the Diocese of Khandwa.

Over the past four years, 14 children have benefited from the care of experts and now the congregation is building a new and larger facility for children in need.

"We want to build this centre in our own home,” she explained. “For this reason, the sisters are now staying temporarily at another home.”

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), slammed the incident in no uncertain terms.

"This is an attack not only against the sisters but also against children, those with more difficulties. All this makes the misdeed worse,” he said.

“The attack is an affront against society itself, to which the women religious offer a tireless and generous service by caring for needy children,” he added. “The sisters re-educate children that society marginalises.”

Lastly, “The authors of the crime show a lack of morality. Their night-time raid reflects the darkness of their minds and hearts." Such a terrible act has to be "condemned in the strongest terms."

The congregation has requested for police protection. Tuesday afternoon, it also filed a complaint at the Sendhwa police station.

Anti-Christian attacks are not new in the state. Also on Tuesday night, Hindu radicals attacked three churches in Indore, Madhya Pradesh’s largest city.

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