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Churches attacked in coastal Karnataka
ashokkjha | September 15, 2008 at 02:27 amby
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In what appears to be a planned series of attacks on church-goers in different districts of the state, separate groups of miscreants unleashed violence on churches in Udupi, Mangalore and Chikmagalur on Sunday morning.Around ten prayer centres in Mangalore were vandalised, allegedly by activists of the Bajrang Dal. Eight youth barged into the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Monastery Chapel of the Milagres Church with sticks and iron rods.Statues were damaged, windows and furniture destroyed. One of the miscreants climbed the altar and reached the sacrament.Despite efforts by people in the congregation to stop the desecration, the miscreants were relentless.At the CSI Church near Kodikal, furniture was damaged, the mike set broken, window panes and electrical appliances destoryed. According to eye witnesses, around 35 people reached the church on bikes and autorickshaws, disrupting the prayer service.At Udupi, two separate groups of Hindu activists attacked prayer halls of the New Life Fellowship at Krishna Kripa Complex and the Life and Light Church at Byndore. Speaking to the press, Robert Pais, a devotee at the New Life Fellowship alleged that the miscreants had carried away the collection box, in which was the cash received in offerings. At Byndore, miscreants entered the Life and Light Church at Neergadde and attacked the priest, KA Abraham. Damage to property here is estimated at Rs 4 lakhs. At four places in Chikmagalur, Christian prayer centres were attacked.In Mangalore, Christians gathered to protest the violence unleashed on prayer gatherings. Church bells tolled through the day, sending out messages of alarm to the community. Some Congress leaders too join the protesters.