PressTV/ India Christians protest over church fire

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Hundreds of Christians have staged a protest rally in the Indian capital, New Delhi, after an incident during which a Catholic church was badly burnt in a fire.

On Monday evening, protesters held a candle light vigil in the Indian capital, while some 200 members of various churches blocked traffic outside the St. Sebastian’s Church on Tuesday morning.

Earlier on Monday, much of the St. Sebastian’s Church, including its prayer hall, altar and all statues were reduced to ashes.

The demonstrators shouted slogans and demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Although the cause of the fire in the church, located in a northeast suburb of New Delhi, is still unknown, the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese said in a statement that “mischief” was suspected.

“The Christian community… and civil society have decided to protest at the offices of the police commissioner… to focus attention on the attempts to polarize the people in Delhi state,” the statement added.

Delhi’s Archbishop Anil Couto has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Delhi Catholic Archdiocese said that forensic samples were “retrieved from the inside of the church, which still smelt of fuel oil,” but there was no immediate comment from the police.

Christians account for about 2.5 percent of India’s 1.2-billion-strong population.



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