.- The news agency Fides is reporting that 150 Hindu extremists have leveled the Church of Divine Mercy to the ground before its construction could be finished.
On December 5 at about 7am a gang of about 150 extremists forced the workers to leave the premises and then began to destroy the building and the machinery for construction.
Eyewitnesses told Fides that the mob shouted anti-Christian slogans and said they would "not tolerate Christian proselytizing”. When they had finished their destruction they warned the builders that if work started again, there would be another attack.
The Catholic community has responded with shock and sadness to the unprovoked attack. The assault was not carried out because the church lacked the necessary permits. The complex was to include rooms for pastoral and charitable activities.
The Catholics of the Delhi community are also baffled as to why they were attacked because Catholics are held in high esteem there and Hindu extremism in the region is minimal. “This was certainly an isolated incident- local Church sources told Fides- but nevertheless it was totally unmotivated and a cause for concern”. The source continued, saying, “We hope the police will identify the culprits and bring them to justice. The Catholic Church in India respect[s] the law and extremists must not be allowed to violate constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms”.
A recent report presented to Indian authorities found no less than 464 cases of violence against Christians or Christian property have been reported in the past 20 months. This is due to growing religious extremism mainly in the states of Bihar, Karnataka and Gujarat. Violence near the capital is not found to be a problem in the report.