Two Orthodox shrines vandalised in Kottayam

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The police have launched a probe after shrines in front of a couple of churches under the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Churches (MOSC) in Kottayam were vandalised on Sunday midnight.

The police said the first attack took place around 11.40 p.m. when unidentified persons on a two-wheeler attacked the shrine in front of the MOSC headquarters at Devalokam and smashed its glass windows using stones and stick.

It was followed by a similar attack on the Gregarious chapel at Thoothootty around 12.30 a.m. The police collected statement of a few locals, who witnessed the attack.

Preliminary investigations suggested that the attacks had been carried out by the same group.

The police are also investigating whether the incident had any links with the ongoing strife between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Malankara Syrian Church.

Protesting against attacks on its members and properties, the MOSC urged the government to initiate stringent steps to check the trend. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros, Orthodox Church synod secretary and Metropolitan of the Madras Diocese, said the Orthodox church had been facing organised attacks ever since the Supreme Court order in the church dispute case.

“Attacks against churches, its institutions and followers are continuing unabated. Two church members, who came to offer prayers at Vadavucode Church, were seriously injured following an attack,” he said.

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