Christians in India staged a mass protest last week, demanding government action following the firebombing of a one of Delhi’s largest churches.
Christians in India staged a mass protest last week, demanding government action following the firebombing of a one of Delhi’s largest Catholic Churches. The Anglican Bishop of Delhi and the general secretary of the Church of North India participated in the rally led by Roman Catholic Archbishop Anil Couto on 2 December 2014, joining several thousand Christians protesting outside the central police station at the ITO (Income Tax Office) building in Delhi and presented a petition to government leaders. In their petition they demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh “order an immediate judicial enquiry by at least a High court serving or retired judge to ascertain the facts of this malicious act” and demanded the government repair the “the entirely gutted church so that the faithful of the capital region can celebrate the Christmas Midnight Mass prayer service.” The church leaders complained the “ensure that the guilty are traced by the police at the earliest and charges brought against them for arson, hurting the religious sentiments of the Christian community and for attempts to create religious discord.” Archbishop Couto told the rally the government must act quickly to stop sectarian attacks on India’s 2000 year old Christian minority “so that the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of faith for all citizens were seen on the ground. We are hoping the Prime Minister and his government will reaffirm this commitment.”