A group of unknown vandals have attacked and damaged St. Luke’s Church in Ranaghat, near the city of Calcutta. According to reports, church employees discovered the church’s vestments, tabernacle and other items damaged as well as money stolen. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India have skyrocketed in recent years. Sometimes these attacks are motivated by money as churches are seen as a place easily robbed. Other times, churches are attacked due to growing religious intolerance.
06/07/2017 India (Asia News) – Unknown criminals vandalized and pillaged St. Luke’s Church at Dayabari Mission Gate in Ranaghat, about 70 km from Calcutta, in West Bengal. The incident occurred at dawn on June 6. A church employee discovered damaged vestments, the tabernacle profaned, and money theft, around 4:30 am.
Msgr. Thomas D’Souza, Archbishop of Calcutta, states, “We are saddened by this deplorable act of vandalism and theft. St. Luke’s Church is a sacred place, a place of worship. All places of worship must be respected.”
According to the Archbishop, “the churches, of any denomination, must be respected. This act of plundering and vandalism is alarming and painful. I ask everyone to pray and invite our people to keep calm and a spirit of prayer and peace.”
The devastation of the church in West Bengal is the last episode of a long wave of overwhelming and intimidating acts against the Christian minority in India. Only a few weeks ago in Telangana another church, that of Our Lady of Fatima, was targeted by local Hindu extremists who dissected the crucifix and statue of the Virgin Mary.