India: Attack on Christian church augurs renewed Hindu violence

A crucifix that had dated back to 1880 has been desecrated and destroyed in Vile Parle, a suburb of Mumbai. The crucifix was found broken into pieces at St Francis Xavier parish on the morning of December 15, according to a report by Catholic Secular Forum, an Indian nongovernmental organization. Catholics have filed a complaint with local police. While it condemned the destruction, CSF also expressed the fear that it betokens future violence to be waged by Hindu extremists. India has been wracked in recent years by violence directed at Christians by Hindu extremists who have killed Christians and destroyed their churches and homes.
Concerns have been piqued among Christians because of plans for a massive rally that is expected on December 22 in Mumbai. The rally will feature the Hindu leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi. Thousands of Hindu nationalists are expected to attend and then target Christians and other minority religious groups. According to CSF, violence on the part of Hindu nationalists is intended to create discord between the various religious groups in the official secular Indian subcontinent. The general election for India is coming in May 2014 and further violence is expected. It was during the Christmas season several years ago when Hindus ran amok in a Christian village, killing hundreds and destroying their homes. Many Christians remain refugees in their own country since they are afraid to return home. 

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.


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