Hindus worldwide are highly concerned regarding reports of burglary at Shree Swaminarayan temple Willesden in Greater London, resulting in the theft of three sacred Hari Krishna idols last week, hours after Hindu new year celebrations.
According to temple president Kurjibhai Kerai, these idols were with the temple since opening in 1975 and “hold a huge religious significance to all in our community”.
Shree Swaminarayan temple, a registered charity and built on a former church building, is claimed to be “one of the biggest Hindu temples in Europe”. It continues to teach the core foundations of Hindu religion; compassion, thirst for knowledge, morality, and respect for all human beings, according to its followers.
It opens daily and besides worship services; it also conducts yoga-tabla-vachanamrut classes, runs a Gujarati school and youth academy, helps the homeless as parts of its social service initiatives.
The temple functions under Shree Nar Narayan Dev Temple Bhuj in Gujarat, India, whose code of conduct includes abstaining from alcohol, drugs, meat, adultery, stealing, and food-drinks from improper sources.
Willesden is a suburb north-west of London, which forms part of London Borough of Brent.