Hindu fundamentalists destroy monastery cross and make death threats to nuns

In a statement sent to the Fides news agency, the Bishops Conference of India denounced a group of Hindu fundamentalists who broke into the convent of the Teresian Carmelites in Ambernath, where they destroyed parts of the building and left death threats against the nuns.

The statement said the act took place on January 23 at 2am, when extremists entered the convent under cover of night, destroyed a cross and caused other damage, and left written threats against the nuns including, “Now it’s the cross’s turn, next it will be your heads” and “Leave or you will suffer the consequences.”

The nuns, whose convent is located in the city of Munbay, said it was not the first time they have threatened with harm and pressured to leave the area.

Sister Dian, the community’s superior, stated, “The sisters heard noises and when they saw the men they were afraid for their lives.  It’s the first time we have received these kinds of threats.  We are very upset.  We don’t know who these criminals are; we just know that they said they belonged to a Hindu group.”

Three professed and two novices currently live at the convent.  They run a home for the elderly and are much loved by the faithful of the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, where the convent is located.

Sister Dian said the nuns called the police and that an investigation into who was responsible and how to prevent other attacks has begun. 

The Order of Teresian Carmelite Nuns, with more than 1,400 sisters in Italy, Germany and Africa, is the oldest feminine congregation in India, founded in 1866 in the Archdiocese of Verapally in Kerala.

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