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Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Church Forced Open, Desecrated; Cash, Valuables Missing in India

It seems that persecution of the Catholic church continues in India and is still under reported.

This is from the Catholic Bishops Conference of India Web site

St. Anthony’s Church at Kavalbyrasandra was found forced open early November 9 morning, and cash and valuables missing.

The tabernacle had been desecrated and a cupboard ransacked.

The incident triggered a massive protest by the local Christians who feared another attack on a church in the state. Last month, vandals had uprooted statues of Jesus and Mary at a church at Hebbagodi on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Parish priest Father Arokiadas had closed the church Saturday, November 7, and retired to his first-floor room on the church premises.

Before Sunday Mass, Devadas, the sacristan, who assists in the preparation for Mass, came to the church around 5 a.m. to clean up the place and found the main door forcibly opened.

He immediately informed the priest about the incident.

The Holy Communion was removed from the tabernacle and spilled all over the floor.

Three dumb boxes containing cash offerings were found damaged and sacred vessels missing.

Devadas said: “I was shocked to see the front door of the church open. Somebody had forced the door and entered the church.”

Father Das told newspersons: “This is a deliberate act done to hurt our religious sentiments. What has hurt us deeply is the desecration of the Holy Communion.

“We renovated the church recently but we have never had any problem with the people of the area,” he added.

When the news of the attack spread, over 1,000 people gathered at the church in the morning.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore and senior police officials, including the additional commissioner of police, M.R. Pujar, and joint commissioner, Alok Kumar, rushed to the spot at 6.30 a.m.

The archbishop later told the media that he had spoken to Karnataka Home Minister V.S. Acharya over the phone and expressed his deep anxiety over another attack on a church in the city. He said the home minister, who was in New Delhi, had assured him that he would ask the police to act immediately.

The archbishop also spoke to police commissioner Shankar Bidari seeking his immediate intervention.

A dog squad, finger-print experts and several police officers were deployed at the church.

In a complaint to the police, the church authorities have stated that they suspected three men who were roaming about the area November 7 night.

Meanwhile, the police ruled out vandalism. “It must have been a thief who tried to rob cash and valuables and failed, as the church staff had already deposited the offering money in the bank.

Preliminary investigation indicates that it is a case of theft and not of vandalism,” said a police official said. Further investigation is on.

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