Archbishop Machado Condemns Attack on Christian Pilgrims IN Tamil Nadu
Bengaluru: Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore has condemned the recent brutal attack on about 40 Christian pilgrims from Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), Karnataka. The pilgrims were on their way to Velankanni in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, about 450 km from KGF when they were attacked by a gang belonging to a ‘pro-Hindu’ fringe group of a ‘Hindu Munnani’ outfit. This attack on the innocent pilgrims is unacceptable and strongly condemnable, said Archbishop Machado in a statement.
The statement further said Annai Velankanni as it is popularly known as Basilica of Our Lady of Health, is one of the most visited pilgrim centres in India. For centuries, this renowned shrine draws pilgrims from all over the world. Besides Christians, the people of other faiths go to this Church to pray at the Shrine. As one family they spend their prayer time in peace. According to an estimate, every year 20 million people visit this Shrine around this time.
As per the reports, the miscreants attacked the peace-loving pilgrims with allegations of a mission on ‘conversion’. A false and untenable accusation again raises its ugly head to divide and communalise the society. The pilgrims were silently and prayerfully walking to their destination. The goons stopped them in their tracks, attacked them and vandalized the image of Mother Mary that they were carrying.
“We register our strong protest and displeasure. The brazen display of arrogance and terrorism by the misguided elements has hurt the sentiments of the entire Christian community and we are deeply disturbed and troubled.” The Archbishop and Christians demanded suitable action against the perpetrators of this crime and urged to credibly investigate such vigilante attacks against minority religious communities, the statement added.