Mary’s Statue beheaded, Catholic Church desecrated in Odisha

By Matters India Reporter

Rourkela: Statues of Mother Mary and Child Jesus have been destroyed in the diocese of Rourkela, Sundhargarh district, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.

This was the second incident in two months in the region.

Bishop Kishor Kumar Kujur of Rourkela condemned the dastardly action and urged the law enforcement agency and other government officials to arrest the culprits involved in the cases without further delay.

“These incidents are unfortunate and uncalled for. They are carried out to polarize the community with the vested interest,” Bishop Kujur said.

Fr. Sunil Damor, SVD, Odisha Regional Secretary for Communications, said that statues were broken in Salangabahal parish and a room was set on fire in Bihabandh parish in the night of April 1 by unidentified persons. Police complaints have been lodged, but no one has been arrested as of the writing of this report.

Rourkela diocese is the most tribal (indigenous) Catholic populated diocese in Odisha having a population of 250,000 members spread over in 42 parishes. Odisha has six Catholic dioceses.

Last month on March 4, some unidentified people had demolished the grotto of  Immaculate Conception in Aligonda parish of Berhampur Diocese.

Though police complaints were filed, no one has been arrested so far. Father Ajit Kumar Nayak, the parish priest of Immaculate Conception church at Aligonda, urged the public not to create any commotion over the issue. He urged Catholics and the public to maintain peace in the region with the spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of communal harmony.

For many decades off and on, Odisha has witnessed many such attacks on Christians, burning of their homes, destruction of churches and Christian religious places mostly by Hindu right-wing groups and others.

Christians of Kandhamal have  faced violence since 2007. In the following year they witnessed India’s worst anti-Christian persecution in recent history.

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7 thoughts on “Mary’s Statue beheaded, Catholic Church desecrated in Odisha

  1. It’s time that we congratulate the faithful of Odisha who are keeping their faith alive inspite of all the atrocities committed against them. I am very happy that the Church is being strengthened by the blood shed by the martyrs of Khandhamal violence. Those who skeptical about the views expressed by those who support the Church in Odisha will change in the course of time. Thank you.

  2. This is a calculated move of religious fanatics who are doing such heineous crimes with the blessings of the ruling party at the centre who take their directions from RSS chief and do what they are told to. The target is next general election in 2019. At this time critics like George Nedumpuram may do well if he can sty away from making any such unreasonable comments. I dare him tell the same opinion about Hindu Idols in temples. If he says he will certainly get his reward immediately.

  3. The frequency of such incidents in Odisha should make us think. What is the root cause of such attacks? Fundamentalist and fanatical forces are everywhere, but why is this happening in Odisha? I feel that the church should gathjer together sociologists, psychologists, missiologists, anthropologists, church historians etc to delve deeper into the issue, to prevent or minimize such incidents in the future.

  4. It is a Time of the church to grow from its child hood to adult hood in prayer and new methods to handle it other than murmuring.

  5. This is agenda of the followers of the ruling party. The rulers will keep mum. At the most they will say , the State is responsible for law and order and the State will say they will investigate and the guilty would be punished. We know nothing will be done. In the first few centuries Christians were attacked and killed to destroy Christianity. Same thing is borrowed in India.
    Christ cannot be defeated. The creator cannot be defeated by the creations

  6. More attacks against the Christians will be taking place due to the desperate situation now faced with the RSS rulers of India. The minorities-Dalits and the former party alliance are now working as a united front to wipe off the national calamity upon the nation. Finally, the anti-Christian rulers of India will be faced with divine correction through unknown places.

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