Church vandalized in Delhi, fifth in two months

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New Delhi: Another Catholic church in Delhi was desecrated Sunday night, the fifth such incident in the past two months.

“We are not sure if it was just a theft case or a deliberate attempt to create mischief,” said Father Savarimuthu Sankar, spokesperson of Delhi archdiocese, referring to the vandalism in St Alphonsa’s Church in Vasant Kunj, central Delhi.

The archdiocesan official told Matters India on Monday that Vasanth Kunj parish priest Father Vincent Salvatore found the tabernacle open and the ciborium that holds sacred Hosts missing. The Hosts were all strewn on the altar table and the floor below.

The archdiocesan spokesperson said the police came immediately to probe the matter after being informed by church authorities.

The Church official said the intruders entered the church after breaking open the lock on the main gate. However, they could not open the collection box kept inside the church.

The church is named after Saint Alphonsa, the first woman saint of Asia.

Father Sankar said the church had failed to follow archdiocesan instructions to install CCTV cameras in all parish churches. “The cameras would have helped us identify the miscreants,” he added.

The CCTV cameras had helped identify those involved in the attack on a Marian grotto, kept outside the Our Lady of Graces Church, Vikaspuri.

The incident occurred two days after the Election Commission of India decided to hold Delhi’s legislative assembly elections on February 7.

The CCTV footages showed three people involved in the attack. Police said they were under the influence of alcohol.

The first church attack in Delhi occurred on December 1 with the burning of St Sebastian’s Church in Dilshad Garden, east Delhi.

A week later, unidentified persons threw stones at Our Lady of Fatima Forane Church Jasola, near Okhla in south Delhi, and broke its window panes during the evening Mass.

On January 3, a mysterious fire reduced to ashes a Christmas crib kept inside the premises of the Church of Resurrection in Rohini, north Delhi.

All the previous incidents took place in the outskirts of the national capital and at four different directions. The latest incident has occurred in high security central Delhi.


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