A church in the Indian state of Karnataka has been vandalised, resulting in damage to a statue of Jesus and money taken from the donation box.
As reported by The Times of India, St Mary church was defaced on Tuesday, just a couple of days after Christmas celebrations.
Police are investigating the attack. “We have formed special teams and the probe is underway,” superintendent of police Seema Latkar said.
The act of vandalism comes just a few days after a 43-year-old priest was arrested for “enticing” almost 100 people to “convert to Christianity” on Christmas Eve in the Rampur district of Uttar Pradesh.
According to The Independent, the arrest was made following criticism by a right-wing activist who complained about the gathering to local police.
Earlier this month, police confirmed they would provide security escorts for Christians celebrating Christmas carol services during this year’s festive season due to the high possibility of attacks.
According to the United Christian Forum, there have been at least 511 violent attacks against Christians between January and November 2022.
India is one of the countries where persecution against Christians is expected to rise significantly in 2023, according to Release International’s latest predictions.
Release International’s partners say there are long-term serious medical needs among those who have been badly beaten because of their faith. They also highlight a growing need for Bibles, particularly in rural areas.