Fasting and prayers for peace at Gandhi's tomb

 Christians of all denominations held a day of fasting and prayers for peace at the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi last Sunday, the eve of India's Independence day. The event was staged as a response to the anti-Christian violence and hate campaign that has taken place over the past few months. A child opened the event and a delegation laid a floral wreath at Gandhi's monument. The community also expressed solidarity with all victims of violence, including innocent Hindu pilgrims, newsmen and people of several different religions who have been killed in cross-border terrorism in Kashmir, as well as Dalit victims of massacres in Bihar and other states. This is the second major massed prayer held in the capital in recent times. Three years ago Christians celebrated the Golden Jubilee of India's Independence with a massed prayer. The past three years have seen a stepping up of sectarian violence in India. Christians say the authorities are not acting to protect religious minorities. They say there is a concerted effort to secularise society and that the Christian community which has existed in India since the first century has been particularly targeted. A spokesman said: "As Christians, we strongly believe in the power of prayer. We fast and pray together for our country and for all our fellow citizens, with whom we have shared a dialogue of life for 2,000 years."

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