A church in Mangalore, located in India’s southern state of Karnataka, was vandalized last night. The church’s windows and doors were damaged and many suspect Hindu radicals to be behind the attack. This attack comes days after India’s Prime Minister vowed to protect religious minorities. The Prime Minister’s statement was prompted by a string of attacks on churches in India’s capital, New Delhi. Will India’s government really protect religious minorities or will Christians in India continue to face a escalating wave of persecution?
2/25/2015 India (NDTV) – A church in Mangalore in Karnataka has been vandalized last night; its window panes and door were damaged, though the statues within remained untouched, said police sources.
The attack comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to protect all religious groups; his comments were seen as a response to a series of attacks on Christian institutions in New Delhi fuelling concerns that minorities are being targeted by Hindu extremist groups.
“I condemn all incidents of violence where religious minorities were targeted,” PM Modi had said at an event organized by the Christian community to celebrate the beatification of two Indians by Pope Francis late last year. “No religious group can incite violence… my government will ensure there is complete freedom of faith,” he had said, in remarks that were welcomed by the Opposition which has accused him of failing to protect religious minorities.
This week, Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh or RSS, incited fierce criticism after he said that Mother Teresa’s service to the poor was pinned on a drive to convert them to Christianity.
The RSS is the ideological mentor of the Prime Minister’s party, the BJP. Mr. Bhagwat has, in recent months, presided over a series of controversies for declaring India is a nation of Hindus, a descriptor that has been attacked for undermining the equality to all faiths guaranteed by the Constitution.