‘Don’t blame all church attacks on fanatics’
A very dear friend of mine, Fr. Anthony Mariappa Anthappa , is a priest of the Diocese of Bangalore, India. One of his parishes (he is pastor of three) was recently vandalized and robbed. While there are numerous instances of terrorism being committed by Muslim and Hindu extremists, there is also the age old phenomenon of theft and vandalism by local thugs and criminals. Whether a terrorist or a crook desecrates your house of worship, the end result is still the same, your church has been violated. Thieves and terrorists may have different motives but they employ the same means: violence and destruction.
9-11 showed us the depth to which Al Qaeda would sink in their terroristic attacks on America. Sadly, natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina also showed us how local criminal elements take advantage of situations and looting and pillaging often permeate an area already devastated by mother nature.
While we see similar church burnings here in the USA (e.g., Texas), most of the time the vandalism and theft are committed by petty criminals or isolated psychotics. India has those, too, but also the presence of full blown terrorism and deadly anti-Catholic persecution from rival groups. Militant and extremist Hindus and Muslims do not represent the majority of their creed but there are enough of these radicals to cause grave harm to church property and personnel. Clergy and religious are targets of personal attack and violence. Catholic churches are targets of vandalism and desecration. When this happens in America, the nation is repulsed and seeks swift justice whenever any mosque, synagogue or church is attacked. This is not the case all over the world. Imagine coming to Mass at your local parish only to find it ransacked and vandalized, with the Blessed Sacrament desecrated and the Tabernacle violated. It makes my stomach sick just thinking of it.
Please pray for Father Anthony and his parishioners. If you are able to help him rebuild his church please contact me at email@example.com and I will in turn get you in contact with him or at least I can help you send him some donations to try and rebuild.
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