Catholic Churches, grottos vandalized, Odisha
3 incidents of vandalism and hate crimes were perpetrated on the 01st of April – on “Odisha Day” which is a significant day in Odisha as it commemorates the formation of the state as a separate unit on 1 April 1936, after the death of king Mukunda Dev which led to the formation of a separate state under British rule on the basis of the language.
The 1st incident happened at the gate of the Church in Salangabahal village, which is located in Raiboga Tehsil of Sundargarh district in Odisha. Here, the grotto at the main entrance, houses the statues of Mother Mary also known as “Our Lady of Good Health”. The grotto was vandalized and desecrated with the body of the statue of the Mother Mary had disappeared, while the head of ‘infant Jesus’ has been left behind.
In the 2nd incident happened at Bihabandh village is located in Rajagangapur Tehsil of Sundargarh district in Odisha. There are 2 Churches in this location – an old and a new Church. A room adjacent to the Church was intentionally set on fire and was completely gutted.
The 3rd incident happened in Lanjiberna village located in Rajagangapur Tehsil of Sundargarh district in Odisha where the statue of Mother Mary was vandalized and damaged.
Narrating the incident to Persecution Relief, Father Suresh Minj, Treasurer, Diocese of Rourkela, Odisha, was extremely distraught at the blatant, brazen and frequent attacks on Catholic Churches and Institutions.
2018 Persecution Relief News
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