Statues of Mother Mary, Child Jesus destroyed in Odisha

By Matters India Reporter Rourkela: Statues of Mother Mary and Child Jesus were destroyed in the diocese of Rourkela, Sundhargarh district, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. This was the second incident in two months in the region. Bishop Kishor Kumar Kujur of Rourkela diocese condemned the dastardly action and urged the law enforcement agency and other government officials to arrest the culprits involved in the cases without further delay. “It is unfortunate and uncalled for to happen these instances. No one should tolerate such incidents. Such incidents are carried out to polarize the community with the vested interest,” Bishop Kujur said. Fr. Sunil Damor, SVD, Odisha Regional Secretary for Communications, said that grotto statues were broken in Salangabahal parish and a room was set on fire in Bihabandh parish in the night of April 1 by unidentified persons. Police complaints have been lodged, but no one has been arrested as of the writing of this report. Rourkela diocese is the most tribal (indigenous) Catholic populated diocese in Odisha having a population of 250,000 members spread over in 42 parishes. Odisha has six Catholic dioceses. Last month, March 4, some unidentified people demolished the Immaculate Conception Grotto in Aligonda parish of Gajapati district of Berhampur Diocese. Though police complaints were filed, no one was arrested so far. However, Father Ajit Kumar Nayak, the parish priest of Immaculate Conception church at Aligonda, urged the public not to create any commotion over the issue, rather he urged Catholics and the public to maintain peace in the region with the spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of communal harmony. For many decades off and on, Odisha has witnessed many such attacks on Christians, burning of their homes, destructions of churches and Christian religious places mostly by Hindu right-wing groups and others. One of the most volatile of anti-Christian persecution was Odisha’s Kandhamal District which was the epicenter of untold violence on Christians in 2008. This was India’s worst anti-Christian persecution in 300 years. Christians of Kandhamal have also faced violence but to a lesser degree, during Christmas of 2007.

Source: TopStory- Matters India

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