|BBC: The ‘tribal’ statue of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus was installed on 26 May|
Around 20,000 march on church in protest over statue
August 27, 2013
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.
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