Church vandalized in Prime Minister’s constituency, Varanasi
Varanasi is the Parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – he was elected in 2014.
Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
In the heart of the City of Banares, the center of Hindu pilgrimage, lies the St. Thomas Church in Girja Ghar Crossing, Godowlia, Varanasi. The church is a protestant church and comes under Churches of North India (CNI), Diocese of Lucknow.
In a city which has been an epitome of different cultures, St. Thomas Church, almost 200 years old, was a milestone that reflected the diversity of the city.
However, the evil of communal polarization, has raised its head again, as a mob of over 100 religious fundamentalists, attacked the Church in the evening of 02nd October, in a “premeditated and planned” vandalism attack. According to eye witness report, the attackers were waving saffron flags and armed with sticks.
Rev. N Stevens, Presbyter In-charge of St. Thomas Church, received a phone call informing him that the Church was surrounded by religious fundamentalists. By the time he could reach the spot, he found that the Church was broken into. The main gate, the main door and side door locks were broken and the mob had entered the Church.
The miscreants had also vandalized the interior of the Church, breaking the main gate and the wooden doors. The interior of the Church was also damaged and the sanctity of the Church desecrated, with little thought about wounding the religious sentiments of the Christians.
A complaint was lodged at Dashashwamedh Police Station, and the Police who have assured of immediate action.
Parallelly, the alleged mastermind of the whole attack “Yogi Aloknath” has posted the entire episode on his Facebook Page and given all glory to god sri ram for the illegal attack on the Church.
It states – (translated from Hindi) “Friends today, every door of the church has been broken by the grace of lord sri ram and I will make sure in 4 days, the game of conversion will be closed completely “he said in the post.
Church, please pray for peace to return to the city of Varanasi and the State of Uttar Pradesh, that has been witnessing a ‘religious cleansing’ of Christians and Christian institutions.
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