Sacrilege is any abuse or violation of a person, place or thing consecrated to a deity (and thus deemed sacred). Irreverence for an object is not, on its own, sacrilege. Conflicting religious ideologies commonly accuse one another of sacrilegious acts, such as theft or misuse of sacred objects, desecration of sacred sites, and maltreatment of religious leaders.
Anti-religious political ideologies, such as communism, are reputed to have committed sacrilege against churches. Archaeological excavations, in Jerusalem for example, are a source of accusations of sacrilege, as are military manoeuvres. When, in 1984, the Indian army attacked the Sikh temple at Amritsar in an attempt to rout the armed guard there, officials could not deny the degree of sacrilege involved.