Catholic church in India destroyed

A Catholic Church in India has been destroyed by Hindu extremists before its construction had even been completed.

According to Fides, 150 Hindu extremists came to the Church of Divine mercy at 7am on 5 December. They drove away the construction workers before proceeding to destroy the church building along with the machines used in the construction work.

Eyewitnesses said that during the attack the gang shouted anti-Christian slogans and said they would "not tolerate Christian proselytising," according to Fides.

Following the attack, the extremists told the builders they would attack again if they tried to continue building the church.

The church was targeted despite having all the permits required by law. According to the Catholic news agency, the Catholic community in the Delhi area were shocked and saddened by the attack.

In addition to this, they are said to be baffled by the attack in an area where Catholics are well respected and Hindu extremism is only minimal.

A local church source told Fides, "This was certainly an isolated incident but nevertheless it was totally unmotivated and a cause for concern.

"We hope the police will identify the culprits and bring them to justice. The Catholic Church in India respect[s] the law and extremists must not be allowed to violate constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms."

In a recent report given to the authorities in India, it was found that there were 464 violent incidents against Christians or Christian property in the last 20 months.

According to the report, the violence is mainly a result of growing religious extremism in Bihar, Karnataka and Gujarat. The capital of Delhi does not seem to suffer that much from such violence, the report suggests.