Indian Christians pray after horrific attack on nun

Prayers have been said in churches across India for a 71-year-old nun who was gang-raped after six men broke into a convent school in Ranaghat in West Bengal.

The attack has raised fears among India’s Christian community, already distressed by a series of attacks on churches and unconvinced by Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promises to crack down on religious violence and ensure freedom of worship for all faiths.

It was carefully planned, with the robbers scaling the boundary wall, disconnecting the school’s telephone lines, and gagging a security guard before assaulting the nun, stealing cash and equipment, and breaking a bust of Jesus and tearing a copy of the scriptures in the chapel.

“Even if you call it an isolated incident,” said Delhi diocesan spokesman Fr Savarimuthu Sankar, “the background and the atmosphere for such an attack had already been there, so you cannot simply ignore it as a one-off incident.”