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ICC Note:

Another church in India has been desecrated. According to reports, a Catholic church in India’s West Bengal state was broken into and the Eucharist was desecrated. According to local clergy, nothing else was stolen or damaged, revealing the attackers intent to harm religious sentiments. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have skyrocketed over the past year. Many attribute this trend to the rise of the current BJP-led government and their Hindu nationalist ideology.  

7/10/2015 India (UCAN) – Police in eastern India have launched an investigation after a Catholic church was broken into and Eucharist desecrated late July 9.

The main door of St Thomas Church in Taherpur in Krishnagar diocese was locked when the church watchman arrived to open it in the morning.

“He and parishioners who came for morning prayers found the tabernacle missing,” Father Satish Makhal, assistant parish priest, said.

“After a short search they found the tabernacle in the church compound. It was broken opened and the consecrated host was strewn around,” he said.

Nothing else was missing, Father Makhal said.

Bishop Joseph Suren Gomes of Krishnagar said Church officials don’t have much details of the incident. “But we know police is investigating the case. Only after investigation can we would know the reasons.”

This latest case is about 30 kilometers from where an elderly nun was recently raped in Ranaghat convent.

Police have arrested six men, all migrants from Bangladesh, and filed charges against eight people, including two in absentia. The charges include robbery with attempt to cause death or grievous harm, criminal conspiracy and gang rape.

The bishop couldn’t say if the two incidents were connected.

Criminal gangs are operative in the area according to police but Bishop Gomes said church institutions were not their targets. “In the past five years, this must be the fifth such incident,” he said.

He also ruled out sectarian hatred in the parish area of the 70-year old church, where some 300 Catholic families live alongside 1,000 Hindu families. “There is no history any communal tension in the area. They all live in peace and harmony,” Bishop Gomes said.

Church officials see this as part of the ongoing attacks Christians in India, which has increased dramatically after the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in India in May 2014.

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