India: five attacks on Christians

 The Catholic Bishops of India have called on civil authorities to guarantee minority groups more protection. after five attacks on Christian buildings and individuals took place in less than a month. The Bishops list the five episodes of violence against Indian Catholics: profanation of Holy Trinity Church and the Child Jesus Shrine at a Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; attacks on two convents in Bettiah, Bihar, on June 9 and an attack of the Sisters of Nazareth in the diocese of Bhagalpur. They also mention an incident in Mumbai in which three American protestant missionaries were attacked by a mob of about 50. The Bishops say in the statement: "We are most concerned about these incidents since they reflect a tendency of hatred towards certain communities and against the less most vulnerable groups, women religious. Places of worship and consecrated persons have always been given respect in this country and it is sad to see this nation is losing this noble tradition". The Bishops urge the government to intervene to protect Catholic personnel and to pursue and punish those responsible. Most recent episodes of violence on minorities have been attributed to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh RSS (National Body of Volunteers) one of several fundamentalist Hindu organisations which promote, often resorting using violence, nationalist Hindutva ideology. RSS is powerful all over the India. Because of its ideology and past and recent history RSS was recently added to a list kept by the Terrorism Research Centre, in Virginia, USA, of 38 Islamic terrorist organisations. Representatives of Christian Churches in India have also sent an official memorandum to central and state governments calling for immediate and effective measures to protect the lives and safety of all citizens including Christians. Source: Fides

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