Persecution in India Worsening
St Alphonsus of India, please pray for the Persecuted Church
Early Monday morning, St Anthony Catholic Church at Yedavanahalli village in Attibele, near Hosur, in Bangalore Urban district, was set on fire - in spite of the presence of two police constables outside and the building.
Police said they had kept the main doors of the church open in order to take shelter during heavy rain. They the noticed fire at 1am i and called the fire brigade.
Eye witnesses said the fire was deliberately set by a group who went in and burnt Bibles and hymn books, as well as vandalising religious objects and breaking up a music system. The altar was damaged by fire and a photograph of the new saint Sister Alfonsa with a yellow sari and other decorations that were covering the images, were burnt on the feet of the altar.
Karnataka chief minister said the fire had been caused by an electrical fault, but witnesses said the electric system in the church was intact.
Human rights groups are appealing for a through police investigation.
Elsewhere, hundreds of Christians have been forced to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism.
In Orissa on Monday, more than five thousand women held a demonstration calling for the marrriage on a nun who was raped on August 26 to the man who raped her.
The demand of the locals came on the day when three men were arrested in connection with the rape case. The women argue that in their tradition, if a man exchanged physical relationship with a woman forcibly, he should be married to the victim. "So we demanded that if the nun was raped, she should be married to the rapist," they said.
Source: Ancy DSouza/agencies
© Independent Catholic News 2008