ASIA/INDIA - Cross vandalized in Mumbai

Wednesday, 16 March 2022 religious minorities   religious freedom   violence  

Mumbai (Agenzia Fides) - With an act of vandalism, the monument of Christ Crucified located in front of Pavan Hans, in the west of Mumbai, capital of the Indian state of Maharastra, was intentionally damaged by unknown persons. "We are horrified by the umpteenth act of contempt and gratuitous violence against Christians. Religious minorities in this city, especially Christians, are subjected to constant harassment because their places of worship are regularly targeted and subjected to vandalism", said to Fides Nicholas Almeida, Catholic lay leader of the archdiocese of Bombay, member of the NGO "Watchdog Foundation".
The faithful renew the request to install CCTV cameras in the city. Almeida continues: "We have seen a number of similar incidents in Mumbai, particularly in the areas of Santa Cruz, Juhu and Bandra, which are in the west of the city. These acts wound the religious sentiments of the Christian community and therefore an intervention by the authorities is necessary". "The government of the state of Maharastra has the task of protecting all citizens, whatever religion they profess, and their places of worship", confirms Vivian D'Souza, another local Catholic lay leader.
In the first 45 days of 2022, 53 incidents of violence against Christians were recorded in various parts of India, reports a note from the "United Christian Forum" (UCF) ecumenical group based in New Delhi, noting "a worrying increase in episodes of violence against Christians". The UCF has activated a special telephone assistance line that collects reports and helps Christians in difficulty, both in relations with the authorities and in providing legal advice. In 2021, 505 reports were received. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 16/3/2022)