Barnabas, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Barnabas Update – February 3rd 2021

Hindu ceremony on church grounds

Barnabas Fund, 19 January 2021

A significant Hindu religious ceremony to a Hindu deity was held on the grounds of a Christian church in Goa, India.

About 25 people performed the Hindu pooja on 30 December directly in front of the Church’s historic façade, which is also a protected regional monument.

At the time of the incident almost 2,000 Christians were worshipping in the church.

At the time of writing, a First Information Report had not yet been made by the police, which is the necessary first step to police responding to a complaint. The South Goa Police Superintendent said this was due to ongoing investigations.

Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code forbids “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmonyand Section 295A, protects all citizens against “deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs”.

An Indian Christian leader described the incident as “very insidious”. “There have been several incidents like this in the past. There are also attempts to conduct Hindu worship near or even in these Christian worship places. It is primarily an attempt to reduce and even deny sacred places to Christians and Muslims.”