Shrine Desecrated in India

JABALPUR, India, JUNE 14, 2005 ( Bishop Gerald Almeida of the Jabalpur Diocese denounced the «act of cowardly violence» perpetrated against the Christian community with the desecration of the shrine of the Infant Jesus.

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Sunday, «around midnight, a bunch of miscreants entered the shrine of the Infant Jesus, which is inside the compound of the Holy Trinity Church, and desecrated it,» the prelate said in statements to

«Except for a few incidents, the fundamentalists had spared the area,» he explained.

The group of attackers, mostly young men, threw rotten eggs and blue-colored water against the shrine, located in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

«When the guard saw them, they fled,» said the bishop. So far, no one has been arrested.

The incident comes at a time when Christians are increasingly concerned about the sectarian violence directed at them in states run by the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party, such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Bishop Almeida said that his response to this violence will be chain-fasting throughout the Jabalpur Diocese.

He said: «We shall pray that God may transform the minds and hearts of these people who are attacking Christians.»

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