A 133-year-old statue of Jesus at St. Francis Xavier Church of Santa Cruz was intentionally vandalized in a suburb of Mumbai, India. Many Christian rights groups have strongly condemned the desecration and have called on local police to bring the culprits to justice. Religious intolerance is growing in India and now Christians in the suburbs of India’s major cities are beginning to see the signs of the change in culture. Much of the intolerance can be traced back to the recent rise of Hindu nationalism in both India’s society and government.
12/16/2013 India (Christian Today) – The Christian Social Forum (CSF) and Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) have strongly condemned the ‘intentional” vandalism of a heritage Crucifix in Mumbai suburb and have urged the police to arrest the culprit immediately.
Unknown miscreants broke the statue of Jesus which is erected in Vile Parle West under St. Francis Xavier Church of Santa Cruz, a western suburb of Mumbai city. The churchgoers noticed the broken pieces on Sunday morning with fingers cut.
Eye witnesses said the vandalism was a “willful act as the hands and fingers of Jesus’ statue were cut into pieces.”
The Christian Social Forum (CSF) expressed shock and condemned the desecration of the 133–year-old cross.
CSF General Secretary Joseph Dias expressed concern that more such events would occur as the country is heading towards the general election which is slated early next year.
GCIC president Sajan K. George said that religious intolerance is regrettably increasing in cosmopolitan Mumbai, as in other places in India. “This is the second desecration in Mumbai in three months, the previous one, being at St Joseph’s Church, Juhu,” he added.
Mr. Krishna Hedge, member of the legislative assembly (MLA) assured the Christians that care would be taken to ensure the communal harmony.
Christians are apprehensive that the rally to be addressed by BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on December 22 in Mumbai could be misused by communal elements trying to fan up based instincts, which the CSF leader pointed out.