The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has appealed to political leaders to protect places of worship of all communities, days after a Church in Telangana State was damaged and statues desecrated.
"We are a little worried about the way things are taking a turn in the country. We are not blaming the government but somehow some of the fringe elements seem to feel empowered and this is not a good thing for the country," Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the bishops’ conference, told ucanews.com.
"We appeal to our political leaders to ensure that religious places of all communities be protected and that the right of every citizen and community to worship God according to their belief be protected from unruly elements," the bishop said.
"Everybody needs to respect each other’s religious sentiments. Why go and damage somebody’s religious place?" he asked. "These types of acts bring shame and disrepute to our beloved country and its peace-loving citizens of all communities. The incident is against the free practise of religion in our country," Bishop Mascarenhas said.
Our Lady of Fatima Church in Keesara, Medchal district of Telangana State, was inaugurated on May 13, on the hundredth anniversary of the Apparition of our Lady at Fatima to three shepherd children. On May 21, about 100 people instigated by some religious fundamentalists and anti-social elements vandalized the newly built Church. (UCAN)