New Delhi police arrest Christian protesters
On February 5, Christian protesters tried to make a march from New Delhi’s largest cathedral to the home of the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh. Delhi police arrested them last Thursday.
During their brief march, protestors held cards saying things like “Enough is Enough, what are police doing?” and “I am proud to be an Indian Christian.” However, things were cut short when the police arrived to arrest dozens of the demonstrators, using a law called Section 144, which prevents gatherings of any kind, and pulling them onto buses to detain.
Church Attacks are on the Rise
These protests are occurring because they are afraid and concerned. Over the past two months, five churches have been attacked. One memorable one was an arson attack on the Saint Sebastian Church, which burned to the ground. Other churches have been robbed, burned down and vandalized. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, spoke to AsiaNews, saying that the attack on Saint Sebastian cannot be tolerated and must be dealt with in “the strongest possible terms.” He claims that people feel disgusted and unsafe in the small Christian community.
You @narendramodi kept quiet over similar thefts in 265 temples in Delhi. Yet I want you to kick Seculars for communalizing a Church theft.
— गीतिका (@ggiittiikkaa) February 13, 2015
One protester, who calls himself Gary, says that they simply want the government and police to tighten security and provide protection to prevent these attacks from continuing. Their primary concern is about a rising in religious intolerance, and they believe the current governing party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is doing too little for the Christian minority. They allege that the attacks were committed by hardline Hindus, the majority in Delhi. Singh, the Union Home Minister, said that their government “would not tolerate any discrimination on the basis of caste or religion.” He has urged the Delhi police guarding churches and other worship buildings. They plan to prevent any additional attacks on the local churches.