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Diocese seeks government help to check Hindu radicals 

By Saramma Emmanuel

Sagar: A Catholic diocese in a central Indian state has sought government help to reign in radical Hindu groups that indulge in malicious campaigns against the Church.

“Well orchestrated campaigns are going on against us since two months to portray all our works as means for religious conversion. This is totally false and aimed at creating distrust and discord against us among other religious communities,” Father Biju Thottungara, public relation officer of Sagar diocese in Madhya Pradesh state, told a press conference on November 14.

The priest accompanied by two other priests – Fathers Anto Kannanpuzha and Sabu Puthenpurackal — addressed the media at the diocesan social work center in Sagar, the headquarters of the Syro-Malabar diocese after radical Hindu group carried out series of malicious media campaigns against Christians.

“We are accused of converting Hindus and other low caste people to Christianity, this is not true,” Father Kannanpuzha told Matters India on Nov. 15.

“The Hindu radical groups,” he added, “make wild allegations which find place both in print and visual media outlets leading to confusion among people about our work.”

“We want to clear the air of confusion that we do not indulge in religious conversion,” Father Kannanpuzha explained.

Bishop Antony Chirayath of Sagar said, “We are continuously threatened and the community lives in fear.”

“We have been serving the poor and the downtrodden and help them come up in their lives through various social welfare schemes, but now efforts are on to defame the community to stop such works that are very beneficial for those living in the margins,” the prelate told Matters India on Nov 15.

Bishop Chirayath also sought help from the district and state authorities, including the governor and the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and National Minority Commission, to protect Christians and their institutions from the onslaught of Hindu groups inimical to the Christians.

“The district officials, he said had given assurance to look into the matter,” he added.

Meanwhile, on Nov 10, Hindu crowed took out torchlight march in the heart of Sagar town demanding action against Christians who they alleged indulged in religious conversion. The protestors also issued a two-week ultimatum to the district authorities to act against the missionaries failing which face indefinite protest before a Catholic orphanage.

Joining the chorus of the anti-Christian campaign, local ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Pradeep Lariya said Christians were involved in religious conversion and demanded action against them.

Earlier in September, government officials evicted a Catholic priest working at a remote mission area in the diocese and closed the 20-year-old mission following a dispute over the land title under pressure from the Hindu groups opposed to the presence of Christians in the village.

The Christian missionaries have been contributing for the welfare of poor and impoverished villagers at Mohanpur village in district Guna and other areas.

The priests and nuns working in the diocese say with continues onslaught of right wing Hindu activists against Christians, it has become increasingly difficult for them to work in villages, as they have been viewed as offenders.

The head of the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal George Alencherry has also appealed the believers to pray for the troubled diocese.

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6 Responses to Diocese seeks government help to check Hindu radicals

  1. Savita Bagul

    No innocent Christian person should be harassed or made to face trial in court by anyone. However, there are a few radical priests and nuns who, forgetting Christian values of ‘love and forgiveness’, file cases in court for ‘defamation’ on frivolous grounds against the lay social activists who are critical of them or express different opinion from them. Where should Christian lay activists go to seek help to check these few radical priests and nuns, please?

     
  2. K C. Thomas

    When we say we do not indulge in converting people, they take it that we have been doing it. Why can’t we say — we are Indians we love our country. Our country means all the people of India irrespective of caste and religion and not simply land. We are interested in helping people who are in need of upliftment, that is aspiring for a better quality of life. Holding human values and human rights as very important for all specially the downtrodden we want to help them with our skill, our knowledge,our experience. We are not concerned with what religion they follow or not follow. Bringing impediments to our humble work amounts to standing in the way of progress of the poor and the downtrodden. We indulge only in activities which are not illegal or immoral or any way against our beloved Nation.

     
    • A. S. Mathew

      Truly, as you have stated, the Christian community is working to uplift the downtrodden sector of the society.

      A few years back, I saw a big news of a missionary working in Bihar close to Nepal. The Missionary is a Brahmin covert, healed from cancer and dedicated his life to serve the poor. When I contacted him, also delegated a person from West Bengal to see his work; the report came that close to 200 lepers can’t get drinking water from the public well, the public will not allow. Also, these people had no bathroom or toilets. Now they have toilets-bathrooms and two tube wells. While the society is trying to trash and discard the sick and helpless, through the power of the leading of the Holy Spirit, which is JESUS in the spirit form, we stretch out our hands towards them to help them.

      Tonye Cole is a billionaire from Nigeria. When he began to get rich, he though of celebrating his birthday in a big style, but changed his mind to conduct in an orphanage where his friends came and celebrated the birthday with the orphan children. This caught the attention of his rich friends, thus they began to celebrate their birthday days like Tonye Cole did. It takes the love of GOD to take care of the poor.

      Based on the conversion lamentation, it is very obvious that these so called anti-conversion street goons love to watch the suffering of the underprivileged and discarded people of the society. They love to watch the tears of sorrow, but the Christians love to watch the tears of joy.

       
  3. Ladislaus Louis D'Souza

    Holy fools those nuts who make such frivolous statements about their people being converted to Christianity! Just where are the numbers! That’s what we believers in Christ should now rise en masse and ask those wretches, be they in the government, some political party or just ordinary folk.

     
  4. Thankapan vaidhyar

    Praying for the diocese and the missionaries. May st.micheal defend you. It is good to stop the social and secular services (which may be possessively some think as existential) which majority people don’t want from us, and critics . Do the work Jesus commanded. Because dying after the command of Christ is glorious. Dying for school or hospital will be very pathetic for a diocese.
    Need non possessive mind

     
  5. A. S. Mathew

    The Hindus migrated to the Christian countries like U.S.A.-Canada-England-Germany-France-Spain-Australia-New Zealand and other Scandinavian countries are enjoying full religious freedom; but in India, the 3% Christian population with 2000 years legacy are undergoing severe oppression under the current RSS Government. The Christians in India must get united to face critical challenge facing the minority community of India.

    The Christian religion is leading at the front row in education-healthcare and the social uplift of the downtrodden people. JESUS has commanded HIS followers to preach the gospel or good news, no other religion has a good new of the remission of sin through believing the gospel of JESUS CHRIST like in Christianity.

     
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