INDIA: A statue of Jesus Christ and several other crosses were removed on 3 March as part of an anti-encroachment drive in Devanahalli, Bengaluru, India.
Javed Akhtar has publicly condemned the removal of a statue of Jesus Christ from a hill near the city of Bengaluru. Akhtar who is an atheist said the move made him hang his head in shame.
“Although I am an atheist, I hang my head in shame as an Indian that near Bangalore a statue of Jesus was removed with a crane by the police following the orders of the Karnataka Govt,” he tweeted.
He added, “The first church made in India (out of Portuguese territories) was in Agra during Akbar’s regime with his permission and blessings.”
Kanthraj, the spokesperson for the Archbishop of Bengaluru, said, “We have taken strong note of the development. We will take legal action against the people who are involved in removing the statue. The land was officially given to us in September 2019. The Deputy Commissioner had given the land to the tahsildar, then he, in turn, gave it to the gram panchayat and the GP, in turn, gave the land to the St Joseph’s Church. This 4.2 acre-land was meant to be used as a cemetery.”
The move has sparked controversy among the city’s Christian community who claim that the statue was installed on land that is being used as a cemetery. They said that the statue was built around four or five years ago and the land was officially handed over to St Joseph’s Church in September last year.
Previously in another separate incident CBN News reported, a pastor of a local house church in Andhra Pradesh, India was attacked and injured after he found several local residents trying to build a wall in front of his home to block people from attending church services. It was the latest incident by Hindu villagers against the pastor and his wife. The villagers are angry at the presence of a Christian church in their community.
In the wake of anti-CAA protests
This comes against the backdrop of growing extremism and religious intolerance towards religious minority of the country under the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
Last month, dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured, and at least two mosques were attacked in the worst communal riots in India’s capital New Delhi in decades, triggered by clashes between supporters of a controversial citizenship law and those against it.
The law gives migrants fleeing persecution from neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh an easier path to citizenship, except Muslims.
Critics say it is further proof that Modi, emboldened by a resounding election victory this year, is moving quickly to reshape India as a Hindu nation and weaken its secular foundations.