Unknown vandals maliciously destroyed the Christ Crucified sculpture in front of Pavan Hans, in the western suburbs of Mumbai.
"We are horrified by the umpteenth act of contempt and gratuitous violence against Christians,” said Fides Nicholas Almeida, a Catholic lay leader of the archdiocese of Bombay and a member of the NGO "Watchdog Foundation.
“Religious minorities in this city, especially Christians, are subjected to constant harassment because their places of worship are regularly targeted and subjected to vandalism," he continued.
"We have seen a number of similar incidents in Mumbai, particularly in the areas of Santa Cruz, Juhu and Bandra, which are in the west of the city. These acts wound the religious sentiments of the Christian community and therefore an intervention by the authorities is necessary," Almeida added.
Vivian D'Souza, a local Catholic lay leader, said that the government of Maharashtra has the responsibility of protecting all residents, regardless of faith, and their houses of worship.
According to a letter from the United Christian Forum (UCF) ecumenical group located in New Delhi, 53 acts of violence against Christians were registered in various regions of India in the first 45 days of 2022, indicating a troubling upsurge in episodes of violence against Christians.
The UCF has established a specific telephone aid line that gathers reports and assists Christians in distress, both in dealings with authorities and in legal matters. A total of 505 reports were received in 2021.