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Hindu militants smash cross, threaten nuns

A group of intruders described as "miscreants" have broken a crucifix and ordered a community of Carmelite nuns to vacate their convent near Mumbai in India.

"It was around 2:00 am on Sunday when a group of miscreants barged into the convent compound and pulled down a four-feet tall holy red cross and smashed it", Sister Diana, superior of convent of the Congregation of Teresian Carmalites told SAR News yesterday.

"Our shell-shocked sisters heard the noise and were watching the movement of the miscreants from behind the closed doors for fear of life. This is the first time we have received such threats. We are all still heart broken really", she said. "We do not know who the criminals are except that they claimed to belong to a Hindu group", she added.

With three nuns and two candidates, the Teresian Carmalite Convent runs a home for the aged since 2001 for 12 elderly women. Sister Diana, 40, who is also Mumbai archdiocesan coordinator for the Prison Ministry said the miscreants also left handwritten pamphlets in English and Marathi language ordering the nuns to leave the place.

"We are not scared as we have dedicated our lives for the service of the poor and needy", he said.

The pamphlets recovered by the nuns read, "Now it is the Cross, next time it will be your heads", "Run away, otherwise we will not spare you".

Condemning the unwarranted attack, Dolphy D'Souza, vice president of All India Catholic Union and spokesperson of Bombay Catholic Sabha in a statement later on Sunday demanded that the police arrest the criminals immediately to restore the confidence of the Christian minority community.

He said Christians in the city are a law abiding and peace loving community and the "intimidation and terror tactic" of the Hindu group against the nuns would not be tolerated.

Miscreants Smash Holy Cross, Threaten Ambernath Nuns To Leave (Catholic Bishops Conference of India/SAR News 24/1/05)

25 Jan 2005