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India: Virgin Mary statue torched in attack on Christian community

There is growing fear and hatred of Christianity in India. Although Christianity was brought to India by St. Thomas the Apostle, and therefore has been present on the Indian Subcontinent for nearly two thousand years, Hindu extremists increasingly regard it as an alien faith, imported from outside India and threatening to India’s traditions and culture. The Order asks the government of India to move more energetically to combat the persecution of Indian Christians, and to affirm that they are full citizens of the nation and are entitled to religious freedom.

“CHRISTIANITY CRACKDOWN: Virgin Mary statue torched in attack on Indian Christian community,” by Clive Hammond, Express, February 12, 2019:

FURIOUS Christians have been warned to “not react aggressively” after a statue of the Virgin Mary was torched just miles from an archbishop’s home.

Christians in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have been left deeply disturbed and worried about future attacks on their community after the statue was found burned and vandalised. And a spokesman for the Diocese of Jhabua, one of the region’s religious administrators, is urging Christians in the area to be calm. Rockey Shah told Asia News:

“Investigations are underway.

“We presented a memorandum to the police officer and collector.

“We have asked our people to pray for peace and harmony and not to react aggressively.”

The statue, which depicted the mother of Jesus, was targeted by unknown individuals on February 3 in the town of Bhopal.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Christians, told Asia News that the burnt statue was in the grotto of the parish of St. Joseph, around 10km from the local archbishop’s home.

In the 2011 census, 0.3 percent of Madhya Pradesh’s 77 million population were registered as Christians.

Just under 90 percent were Hindu.

Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have been on the increase in India across the last few years.

Earlier this year Open Doors USA, an organisation which serves persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries, said India was the 10th most difficult place for Christians to practice in the world….

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