ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Nirmala Carvalho
The police has not yet identified the culprits, probably Hindu extremists. About 20 masked men forced the door of the building, broke windowpanes, and destroyed the altar, the confessional, lights, and sacred ornaments, desecrating the sacred building. Hearing noises, Catholics rushed to the church where they were threatened by the attackers.
Kollam (AsiaNews) – Police has not yet identified the extremists who on Sunday sacked the Catholic church in Kottenkulangara, near Kollam, in Kerala.
Twenty masked vandals, probably Hindu extremists, forced the door and broke the windows, destroying the altar, the confessional, lights, and sacred ornaments, thus desecrating the sacred building.
Their suspicions aroused by the noise, Catholics rushed to the church where the attackers threatened them. One of the attackers also stole a gold chain from Susi Antony, whose family lives nearby.
“We are deeply saddened by such an attack against a Catholic Church,” Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews.
“The GCIC condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms. It is a matter of grave concern. An attack on a place of worship is extremely serious and this is the third attack on a Catholic Church in two months. The previous one were in Pune and Secundrabad.”
“This attack on the Church,” the GCIC president explained, “is aimed at grievously wounding the religious sentiments of the vulnerable Christian community.”
The local church, Our Lady of Vailankanni, was built in 1986. The Marian shrine is visited by thousands of people who attend Mass as well as Wednesday novenas.