A Christian prayer hall in Hyderabad was attacked by a mob of over 100 Hindus only one week after the building was consecrated by the Archbishop. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India have continued to increase since the Hindu nationalist BJP-led government came to power in 2014. In 2016, ICC recorded over 360 separate attacks on Christians in India making it one of the most violent years experienced by Christians in India’s independent history.
05/30/2017 India (Crux) – Police arrested 22 people when a crowd of villagers vandalized a Catholic prayer hall in southern India.
Over 100 people were involved in the attack on Sunday at the Fatima Mata Center in Godhumakunta, located in the Indian state of Telengana.
The building had just been consecrated a week earlier by the Archbishop of Hyderabad, Thumma Bala, during the centenary celebrations for Our Lady of Fatima.
After the attack, Bala sent an official request to the Home Minister asking that the building be repaired, and for the authorities to take action against the perpetrators.
“This act of desecration, vandalism, and also of breaking of the statues has deeply wounded the religious sentiments of the Catholic community,” the archbishop told Crux.
“We will conduct a service of reparation, after the police have concluded their investigations,” he said.
For some time, the roughly 30 million Christians in India, about half of whom are Catholic, have suffered various forms of intimidation and harassment, including physical violence, instigated by Hindu nationalist groups.
The latest violence took place after villagers met with local officials before attacking the building and destroying the statues inside.