Church in Agra vandalised: Miscreants damage statues of Mother Mary and baby Jesus

A church in the Cantonment area here was allegedly vandalised by unknown miscreants in the wee hours today, triggering outrage among the members of the local Christian community.

FP Staff April 16, 2015 16:27:50 IST
Church in Agra vandalised: Miscreants damage statues of Mother Mary and baby Jesus

Agra: A church in the Cantonment area here was allegedly vandalised by unknown miscreants in the wee hours today, triggering outrage among the members of the local Christian community.

According to police, alleged miscreants vandalised St Mary's Church in Agra Cantonment's Pratabpura area in what is the latest in a spate of attacks on such institutions across the country.

Church in Agra vandalised Miscreants damage statues of Mother Mary and baby Jesus

AFP image.

An FIR has been registered at Rakabganj police station against unknown persons, they said, adding that two statues on the church premises were found damaged along with its main gate.

Speaking to NDTV, Father Lazarus, a priest of the church said that he woke up after his car alarm went off and he found damaged statues of Mother Mary and baby Jesus.

"Around 3.30 am I heard the alarm of my car. When I came out, I found all four doors of the car open and the wind-screen was smashed," Father Lazarus said.

According to a report in The Hindustan Times, the miscreants wanted to hurt the religious sentiments. Speaking with HT, Father Lazarus said, "The intruders intended to hurt our religious sentiments as they placed the head of child Jesus Christ in the hand of Mother Mary and attached a dog chain to the neck."

District and police officials reached the church in the morning to review security arrangements, police said.

Meanwhile, Christian community leaders in Agra are furious over the incident and have demanded firm action against the culprits within 24 hours, a PTI report said.

Last month, an elderly nun was allegedly gangraped at a convent school in West Bengal by miscreants who also looted cash from its lockers. Two Bangladeshi nationals have been arrested in connection with the March 14 incident.

A cathedral premises and a missionary school where people had gathered for a religious convention were vandalised allegedly by Hindu activists in Jabalpur of Madhya Pradesh on March 20. Six persons allegedly belonging to a right-wing Hindu group were apprehended over the incident but were later let off on bail.

Earlier last week, in a speech at the UNESCO in Paris, Prime Minister Modi had emphasised on his vision of inclusiveness and said cultures, traditions and religions should be used to overcome the rising tide of extremism, violence and divisions across the world.

"We have built a modern state in an ancient land, with a timeless tradition of openness and co-existence and, a society of extraordinary diversity," PTI quoted PM Modi as saying.

Modi had assured minorities in India that rights and liberty of citizens of all faiths will be protected and equal place ensured for them, comments that come against the backdrop of anti-minority campaign by Hindutva elements.

With inputs from agencies

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