12/03/2014, 00.00
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Bishop of Delhi: We strongly condemn the blasphemous and hateful burning of our church

by Nirmala Carvalho
Msgr. Anil Couto underlines the seriousness of the arson attack on a place of worship in the capital of India. President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Failure of the central government and the local administration. The authorities must protect the places of worship."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - An act to be condemned "not only because it blasphemous and accomplished in hatred of the Christian community, but also because it took place in the capital of the country, already battered by other incidents of inter-religious nature", says Msgr. Anil Couto, Archbishop of Delhi, reacting to the arson attack on the church of St. Sebastian, on the eastern outskirts of the metropolis, on  December 1.

So far, police have made no arrests in connection with arson attack, an act confirmed by the discovery of two empty cans of kerosene.

Yesterday morning, thousands of demonstrators blocked Vikas Marg, one of the main streets of Delhi, demanding an effective investigation.
Contacted by AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), describes the burning of the church of Saint Sebastian "a blot on the secular fabric of India. The holy season of Advent is always targeted by anti-social elements, they want to breed suspicion, discord and disharmony between religious communities. "

According to the Christian leader, "the protection and security of the places of worship are the urgent duties of authorities. The arson of the church of Saint Sebastian is a violation of the right [of Catholics] to religious freedom. The central government and the local administration have failed to ensure that law and cannot abdicate their responsibility. The culprits should be brought to justice and the constitutional guarantees ensured to India's peaceful Christian community".


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