India: Christians condemn Delhi bombings, pray for victims

 Forgetting their own pain and anguish at the continued persecution in Orissa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, major Christian groups Saturday night condemned the bomb explosions in New Delhi market places which have left perhaps a dozen dead and scores injured, according to early reports.

The All India Christian Council condemned the Delhi bomb blasts as crimes against humanity as they targeted innocent civilians, among them women and children. Whatever the political issues involved, if any, the perpetrators did not serve any cause by attacking innocent persons. The Council said there was no place for violence of any kind in religion, and nothing justified acts of terrorism.

The Council recalled the explosions in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Jaipur in the past and said by now the national security and intelligence apparatus should have developed the expertise to assess and predict the threats, and take pre-emptive action. The Council said the Government should painstakingly investigate the explosions in Delhi and trace the persons responsible for planting the bombs as well as the mastermind. It cautioned against right wing extremist paranoia which could lead to the harassment of innocents as had happened in Jaipur earlier this year.

The All India Catholic Union, India's largest Catholic Lay organisation, described the bomb explosions as wanton violence and a dastardly act against innocents. Such acts of terror violated all tenets of decent civilised human behaviour. It was a matter of grave concern that the explosions took place during the holy month of Ramadan, and in crowded marketplaces, obviously to maximise both the human tragedy and the cleavage between communities. The highest religious leadership of the Catholic Church had denounced terrorism. The Christian community in India extended its heartfelt sympathies with the victims and their families and appealed for calm and peace.

The Delhi-based United Christian Action said Indian democracy would survive such acts of terrorism because it was built on a strong base of secularism and pluralism. Terror can neither frighten those it targets, nor can it sway the people of India away from secularism. The Christian community, the UCA said, extended its prayerful support and solidarity with the victims and the victims of the dead.

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