New Delhi: Delhi Archbishop Anil JT Couto on Monday strongly condemned the recent attacks Christians, including the one on convent in West Bengal, in which a nun was gangraped, and destruction of an under-construction church in Hisar and called for immediate action by authorities to maintain peace and harmony.
Couto also observed that frequent unwarranted remarks and irresponsible statements made by leaders of both religious groups and political parties hurt the sentiments of minorities and created an atmosphere of hate and suspicion towards other faiths and communities.
"I strongly condemn the brutal and heinous attack on Sisters of Convent of Jesus and Mary in West Bengal and destruction of a church under construction in Hisar, Haryana. I also condemn the bomb attacks in Lahore yesterday.
"Any form of violence in the name of religion needs to be stopped immediately through a collective and strong political will by the governments, both at central and state levels," the Archbishop said.
Maintaining that hate campaigns against the Christian community and the Christian faith by fundamentalist and extremist religious organisations in the past preceded large scale violence against the Christians community, he called for an immediate action by local police and civil authorities to stop such campaigns and maintain social peace and harmony.
He also expressed anguish and concern at the continued hate campaign against the Christian community and other minorities perpetuated by frequent and irresponsible statements made by various leaders of religious groups and political parties.
An under-construction church in Kaimri village near Hisar, Haryana, was yesterday vandalised by a group and the cross replaced with an idol of Hanuman, triggering tension in the state.
In another incident, a 71-year-old nun was allegedly gangraped by dacoits in a convent school in Nadia district of West Bengal, evoking an uproar across the state.
A CID probe has been ordered in the incident but no one has been arrested yet. The gang also decamped with Rs 12 lakh kept in the almirah after the crime.