Christians in India’s Kerala State Endure Series of Attacks on Churches

ICC Note: Christians in India’s Kerala state have already endured three separate attacks on their community since the beginning of April. According to the Global Council of Indian Christians, these attacks ranged from vandalism of church property to direct assaults on church leaders. As incidents of persecution continue to rise across India, will India’s government step up and confront the perpetrators?

04/17/2018 India (Asia News) – In April, which began only two weeks ago, three attacks against Christian places of worship have already taken place in the Indian state of Kerala, Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), reported to Asia News. The Christian leader complains, “The GCIC condemns these acts of vandalism, which offend our [religious] sentiment.”

The most recent episode took place yesterday when some unknown criminals entered the cemetery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in Ukkinadka, in the District of Kasaragod, and destroyed the cross that stood in the burial place. Then the vandals damaged another seven tombs.

On April 10, another attack against the “Logos Pastoral Center”, in the diocese of Neyyattinkara. At the time of the incident, the center housed about 150 students of the 12th class in retreat. They were accompanied by a priest and two nuns. The Christians were attacked by at least 500 people, “disturbed” by the religious songs that were being sung. Criminals threw stones at the building, shattered windows and entrance doors.

Finally, the third incident occurred on the night between March 31 and April 1, Holy Saturday, in the Orthodox Church of St. Greogrios of Punnamoodu, in the district of Alappuzha. Around 1:30 am, Fr. MK Varghese, vicar of the church, was reaching the building to celebrate the Vigil Mass, when some criminals got in front of him and prevented him from entering. Then they also insulted him. Having heard the commotion, the faithful came and managed to save the priest. In the meantime, however, reports Sajan K George, “the villains vandalized the church hall, broke windows and kicked down the door. The police arrested three people, who justified themselves by claiming that [the vicar] wanted to buy land for the cemetery.”

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