Several Churches were attacked in the state of Tamil Nadu.

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)– Indian police continued investigating Friday, December 4, church bombings and other attacks that rocked the Christian community in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, raising fears of more tensions between Christians and Hindus.

The Times of India newspaper said police already detained five suspected Hindu activists this week, following attacks against churches Monday, November 30, around the cities of Coimbatore and Nagercoil.

They were linked to throwing stones at the Protestant CSI Robertson Church in  Coimbatore, but it was not immediately clear whether they  were suspected of involvement in other violence.

Monday’s attacks followed the bombing over the weekend of another Protestant church on the outskirts of the town of Nagercoll just after choir members had left the building following a late rehearsal, Christians said.

The bomb was apparently planted in a hole in the wall and even interior walls were apparently damaged by the impact of Saturday’s blast. No injuries were reported.

Shortly after the explosion a statue of the Catholic church St. Francis Xavier was found damaged  by vandalism in the same area Catholic sources said

The attack apparently happened after choir members left the church following a rehearsal. On Sunday, November 29,  they reportedly discovered that the right hand of the statue had been broken with the glass case shattered. The pastor’s residence had also been ransacked, Catholics said.

“This is an attempt to disturb the harmony and create fear in the minds of our people ahead of the feast of St Francis Xavier,” Bishop Peter Remigius of Kottar added in published remarks.

The attack on the church came just before the December 3 feast of St. Francis Xavier, the Portuguese Jesuit missionary who evangelized the region in the 16th century, the Catholic Church said.

Rights groups have warned that attacks against churches are moving from other Indian states to Tamil Nadu. There have been a series of violence incidents in recent weeks across India, often involving Hindu militants opposed to the spread of Christianity and missionary activities.

Hindu groups have accused churches of “forced conversions”, charges Christian leaders have denied. They say that Christianity is based on a “free choice to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”

Hindu groups have especially criticized the reported increasing number of Dalits turning to Christianity. Dalits are seen as the ‘lowest caste’ in India’s ancient system of Hinduism.


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