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Yogi Adityanath assures bishops freedom to practice faith 

By Matters India Reporter

Lucknow: The Catholic bishops of Uttar Pradesh on April 21 called on Yogi Adiyanath, the new chief minister of the northern Indian state.

“It was primarily a courtesy visit,” Father Donald de Souza, spokesperson of Lucknow diocese, told Matters India.

Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu ascetic, became chief minister of India’s most populous state on March 19 after the Bharatiya Janatya Party won the state assembly elections.

Father Donald said the bishops used the occasion to seek an assurance from the chief minister that Christians have the full freedom and protection to practice their faith. The delegation comprised bishops of Agra, Allahabad, Bareily, Bijnor, Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Varanasi

The prelates, led by Bishop Gerald Mathias of Lucknow, also expressed their concern about the difficulties faced by educational institutions at times because of interference by local administration in many places.

The chief minister assured the Christian community that no one will be allowed to take law in their own hands and that the community need not fear in the practice of their faith, said Father de Souza, who was involved in the preparation of the bishop’s meet.

Father de Souza, who is also the chancellor of Lucknow diocese, had met the chief minister a few days ago with a few people led by the outgoing Eurasian member of the state legislative assembly.

The chief minister was born Ajay Singh Bisht on June 5, 1972. He renounced his family at the age of 21 and came under the influence of Mahant Avaidyanath then the head priest of Gorakhnath Math. He became his disciple and subsequently was given the name ‘Yogi Adityanath.’

He was promoted to the rank of Mahant of Guru Gorakhnath Temple, following the death of his guru on September 12, 2014.

He has been the Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur for five consecutive terms. He was the start campaigner for his party at the last assembly elections. He is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth organization.

Christians in Uttar Pradesh are a tiny minority comprising mostly Catholics and Protestants who belong to the Church of North India.

Christianity was introduced to Uttar Pradesh during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556-1605). Akbar sought out educated Jesuit priests from Goa and gave them permission to propagate their religion in his land.

Christians manage several reputed educational and healthcare institutions in the state.

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15 Responses to Yogi Adityanath assures bishops freedom to practice faith

  1. A. S. Mathew

    These meetings of the minority Christian community of India who were born and brought up in India, to curry favor from the CMs and PM is turning like an international oxymoron. There are thousands of Hindu Temples in the U.S., they were all migrants and now the children and grand children of the migrants. I don’t recall any meeting like this by the Hindu community with the U.S. President and State Governors. The weird attitude of the current Central Government is rather suffocating “we are giving the Christians a charity freedom” to worship.

    This increased persecution of the Christians in India by the jobless street people for their fun loving street rowdyism, the Christian population of the world, the largest with 2.3 billion will have to raise their volume to stand with the persecuted Christians of the largest democracy in the world. Take the list of countries PM Modi has visited, some of them repeatedly; the vast majority of them were Christian countries. What a pious double acting?

     
  2. Probal SG

    I am a devout catholic and agree to certain points made my Mr. Vincent Bagul and therefor have certain questions.
    1. Why was there no lay person as representative of the Catholic community?
    2. Why did not the chief minister give a public assurance instead of a private one?
    3. What was the main agenda of the meetin? Freedom to practice faith or problems faced?
    4. What are these problems faced and discussed as our representatives?
    5. Are those problems faced by the whole catholic community or only by religious institutions?
    6. Are these problems related to layty?
    7. Would the representative be also comprise of only bishops if a yogi become chief minister of Kerela?
    These are some of the questions that came to my mind. I would request the writer of this article to be more transparent and reply to my questions.

     
  3. Vincent Bagul

    Did the Bishops meet in their individual capacity or as representatives of the Christian community? Why did the Bishops not take prominent lay leaders from their respective dioceses with them? Can the Bishops be considered as representatives of the lay population? In my view, the Bishops probably met the CM to secure certain favours, assurances and protection for the properties of the Church.

     
  4. Chacko

    India is a country which has many languages, many regions which are very much different from each other and almost all religious people live in this country since centuries and millenniums The wise men who prepared and adopted the GREAT CONSTITUTION OF INDIA HAD THE vision to understand that all religions, languages customs and religious and communal practices and customs should be allowed in this country and guaranteed protection of all A theocratic state protecting only one religion will be dangerous for the peaceful co-existence of different religions .

     
  5. Singchang

    Pray to god, not to any worldly cm

     
  6. Dr Mathew

    The polarisation and alienation of Christians ,if any, from the mainstream society in India is the handiwork of these bishops and priests where as the Christian lay people want to be with their brethren from other faiths too. There was no need for the bishops to seek anticipatory protection from a state administration. First, let us demonstrate that we are living a Christian life.

     
  7. Vincent Bagul

    Brother Andrew, if ‘spreading Good News’ is the primary focus of the Church, then the Church should go after the rich, educated and powerful people of India and try to convert them. Why are only the poor and illiterate persons (tribals and Dalits) considered ‘good harvest’ to spread the Good News? And, what about the discrimination and hatred experienced by these converts after their conversion? The recent CBCI released document admits it all. Very strange and funny for the religion whose administrators never cease to boast of its central point being ‘Love’.

     
  8. Tadar atu

    Being Christian very shameful act to making such a request of freedom from some one.Means still we don’t aware a india is a democracy country.

     
  9. Rp dwivedi

    Church should keep sharing the true love of God and the message of salvation through good work. It is not changing the outward religion but about inward being through the sacrificial love of Christ.The larger community should welcome it.

     
  10. Chhotebhai

    Will be sending my detailed observations very shortly

     
  11. Sarala

    It’s very wrong view about the Christian organisations. When we see the history of Indian churches and Instituions it’s whole purpose is to serve the society with whatever resources they have..they don’t have any other intentios of becoming rich or anything. .The Christian institutions do always give education to the poor which ever background they may belong at fre of cost or less fee.

     
    • Andrew

      Vincent, what does the Church do with this money? Create more institutions to make more money? The church is not a chit fund where members get dividend. It’s primary focus is to spread the Good News and offer the Gift of God, as Jesus would say, to the. Samaritan woman.

       
    • Deepak B Gorde

      It is necessary to empower Christian Community socially and economically, then only religion heads as well as other communities will give equal response.

       
  12. Cleo Braganza

    I personally don’t like a private “assurance” given by a thuggie CM to one community or another.

    We are firstly Citizens of India, and we have Constitutional rights, duties and privileges.

    We need to demand (not request) that all government ministers and officials should respect our Constitutional rights.

    Also when the Constitutional rights of vulnerable groups (women, children, adivasis, dalits, minorities, etc.) are violated, then also we should raise our voice in protest.

    Seeking favours, preferential treatment or protection is a anachronistic vestige of a bygone feudal era.

    Within a Democracy, all Citizens should have the freedom and the courage to demand the respect of their Constitutional Rights.

    A Democratic Government is the Servant of the people, and not its master.

     
  13. Vincent Bagul

    Mahant Yogi Adityanath, the CM of Uttar Pradesh is on the right track. The Church leaders should now use the resources to uplift the community first. It is a fact that the Christians are poor but the Church is rich. The Christian institutions are being run as commercial establishments with sole purpose of earning money, neglecting needy Christians.