NEW DELHI, India, JULY 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- After a recent episode in Hyderabad, in southeastern India, where a group of 100 extremists attacked several priests and Catholic faithful, Hindu agitators have attacked another Christian community.
The latest incident of religious intolerance occurred in Gujarat state, in western India, well-known for its extremist backers of the nationalist ideology of “hindutva,” or Hinduness.
In the village of Rohiyal Talal early last Sunday, a few members of the fundamentalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad reached the site where a church was being built and destroyed the start of the construction, the Vatican agency Fides reported.
The local Catholic community denounced the attack, but the police have yet to arrest anyone, reported the All India Christian Council.
Investigators said the attack was the Hindu believers’ revenge against Suresh Ada Varli, a former Hindu who recently converted to Catholicism and is financing the construction of the church. Many tribal leaders of the villages opposed the construction some time ago.
Meanwhile, local churches in several Indian states have established commissions to fight anti-Christian violence.
In the state of Madhva Pradesh, dioceses such as Bhopal, Lahore, Jabalpur and Ujiain have formed “crisis committees” planning strategies and tactics to address the violence.
In January, after a child was found dead in a Catholic school, Madhva Pradesh was the background of large scale anti-Christian violence. Since then there were more than 30 attacks against Christian people and places in Madhva Pradesh.