India: nun attacked for being a Christian

 A Catholic nun was attacked by a group of eight men near a railway station in Kota, diocese of Ajmer-Jaipur, in the north west Indian state of Rajasthan because she was a Christian. A spokesman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India told Fides that the nun was attacked on 19 February but the episode has only just been reported. Sister Ida Varghese, a member of a local congregation the Sisters of Mission was on her way to the Provincial House of her order. She was about to board a local train for the three mile journey home from Kota when a man struck her on the head, neck and arm. Sr Ida said: "I thought my arm was broken and wanted to ask help from the railway police on duty at the station. There was one policeman not far off. But to my dismay he took no notice. He thought I was a passenger without a ticket and moved away. Then suddenly I was surrounded by seven other men who started to insult me and beat me because I was a Christian. I was at the complete mercy of my assailants and feared for my life" said Sr Ida still in a state of shock and suffering from painful bruises. Informed of the incident the Bishop of Ajmer-Jaipur, Bishop Ignatius Menezes, voiced concern and surprise for this unmotivated violence and said also that he was deeply sorry that no one protected or helped Sr Ida. He said the Sisters of Mission work among the sick and the poor. They have two hospitals and a dispensary in Ajmer as well as five school with a total of 5,000 pupils Christians and non Christians. Some days earlier the local press reported that Christians who had come to take part in a Bible course were attacked by members of the Sangh Parivar Hindu extremist group. The attackers accused them of trying to convert poor Hindus to Christianity. Source: Fides

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