Catholic Centre, 3 churches attacked in Madhya Pradesh

Timely police intervention controlled the situation.

(UCAN) India: Suspected Hindu radicals on May 12 attacked three churches in Indoreand a temporary home of Augustinian nuns (OAS) in Pipaldhar which houses a centre for disabled children in the northern Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. 

While, unknown attackers threw heavy bricks on the roof of the building, which is home to rehabilitation centre for children with mental disabilities, in Pipaldhar, the extremists threw stones, destroyed crosses, vandalised various items and attempted to set fire to one of the places of worship in Indore. Timely police intervention controlled the situation.

One of the places of worship attacked is St Paul’s Anglican Church. Its priest, Rev Ramesh Chandekar said that militants damaged and destroyed a number of items, including a crucifix, holy vessels and the microphone. The attackers also tried to set fire to a second Protestant church, throwing burning rags inside. Immediately alerted, police acted quickly and put out the flames before they could spread. Extremists also threw stones at a third (Protestant) church, breaking glass panels and windows.

With regard to the Catholic centre run by Augustinian nuns at Pipaldhar, fortunately, at the time of the incident, there were no children. The four nuns inside the building were unharmed.

"It was 3:15 am on May12. Everyone was asleep, when suddenly heavy bricks were thrown on the roof of the house and fell into the room where we slept. Thanks to the Lord’s Divine Providence, no one was injured and the children were not present at that time. Now we sisters are afraid,” said Sister Jaya, one of the nuns.

Sister Jaya explained that the nuns had set up a centre for the rehabilitation of children with mental disorders inside their residence, which is located in the Diocese of Khandwa. Over the past four years, 14 children have benefited from the care of experts and now the congregation is building a new and larger facility for children in need. "We want to build this centre in our own home,” she explained. “For this reason, the sisters are now staying temporarily at another home.”

The congregation has requested for police protection. It also filed a complaint at the Sendhwa police station.

The attacks took place a few hours before Sonia Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress Party, inaugurated a missionary-run orphanage. The SanskritikJagran Manch, a local right-wing Hindu organisation, had threatened ‘direct action’ against Gandhi if she actually opened the facility.

Source:Vatican Radio


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