07/10/2022 (International Christian Concern) – This week, Catholics in central India organized a silent protest over the recent vandalism of a local pilgrimage center. The incident occurred on the night of July 2 and was noticed the next day. The perpetrators badly damaged statues of Jesus and Mother Mary. They also damaged other statues installed at 14 Stations of the Cross, leaving only 3 untouched. Speaking to UCA News, a local parish priest lamented, “The statues were standing intact until 4 in the evening on July 2. What happened later is not known to us.” The priest immediately made a complaint to local police, but authorities have made no progress in their investigation.
The protestors who gathered earlier this week voiced their outrage specifically against the police for their lack of progress in pursuing the perpetrators responsible for this vandalism. The local priest explained, “We want the police to take immediate action against those who are behind this attack.” The police inspector in charge of the investigation told media that his department was actively pursuing investigations and that the suspects would be apprehended soon, but local Christians remain upset. The president of a local Christian rights group lambasted police tardiness and asserted that he would soon petition the Indian state’s governor and chief minister to intervene.
Police inaction in cases involving Christians is far from uncommon in India. Christians in central India have frequently accused government and police officials of ignoring persecution against them. In addition to attacking Christian people and property, radical Hindu nationalists throughout India have often even used the power of the law against Christians by falsely accusing them of the forced conversions. We pray that authorities in central India investigating this case of vandalism would break with this prolific pattern of injustice and successfully apprehend the perpetrators responsible for the recent attack against Christians.