Bible Desecrated in India: Bishop of Belthangady Calls Act 'Vile'

Young people in India have destroyed a statue, religious objects and desecrated a bible – acts that the Bishop of Belthangady has called "vile."

The Bishop of Belthangady, Msgr. Lawrence Mukkuzhy was absolutely appalled by the actions of those involved. He said it was a “vile gesture that hurt the feelings” of all Christians.

Leaders of Christian communities condemned the latest attack against a place of worship in India. Hindu extremists are targeting buildings and symbols of religious minorities with increasing frequency say activists.

The most recent incident of violence occurred at 8:30 p.m. local time Nov. 3, in Kankanady, just outside of Mangalore, a port city in the southwest of India.

Three young men arrived at the Syro-Malabar Church of Saint Alphonsa. They proceeded to cause damage to property and desecrated sacred vestments. At one point a 24-year-old named Shibu Maniraj entered the Church and destroyed a statue of Jesus Christ. He then proceeded to destroy a bible and put on sacred vestments, which he wore outside as he left.

The latest incident of violence goes to underscore the seriousness of religious intolerance that is found not only in India but also all over the world.

Other recent attacks in India include schools of St. Teresa and the Padua chapel.

Msgr. Mukkuzhy said that in his 23 years at the Church he has never been a victim of such a crime. The attack "is a cowardly act" and "events of this type should not happen in any place of worship." The bishop could not explain why the young men targeted his Church. The reasons for such an act that "hurt the sensibilities of the faithful are not yet clear." He Said.

Christian activist Sajan K George put the blame on the state government, saying that since the violence in Mangalore in 2008 they have done nothing to stop the fundamentalists. He is concerned that the government "allows fundamentalists to perpetuate their reign of terror and sectarian violence."