Some 20,000 tribal people in Jharkhand state in eastern India have marched on a village church, accusing local Christians of trying to convert them by dressing up a Virgin Mary statue in tribal clothing.
Members of the animist Sarna faith have been complaining since the statue was inaugurated in the Singpur village church in May.
But the standoff escalated on Sunday when the marchers took a normal statue of Mary to the church, aiming to replace the offending item, which depicts the Virgin Mary wearing a sari with traditional red borders, holding the infant Jesus.
Police blocked the protesters 25 meters from the church. Local head of police Jagannath Oraon said that they were seeking to avoid a confrontation and peace was quickly restored.
Bandham Tigga, head priest of the Sarna tribals, said the sari-clad statue marks the latest effort to deliberately confuse and convert tribal people in the area.
This story was reported back on August 27, 2013.
Strangely what it reminded me was of the so-called new atheists. There seems to be an odd parallel in thinking. If you can consider that a statue dressed in a sari is a forcible attempt at conversion you just might need something to thicken your skin.
The new atheists seems to have the same thinness of skin in that just seeing religious symbols especially on government land is outrageous and must be stamped out. That a nativity scene is akin to proselytizing in the most negative sense of the term. Good thing lawsuits are a tool of reason.