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    » 10/21/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Card. Gracias meets Sonia Gandhi : Let's work together to protect all Indians

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Bishops' Conference (CBCI ) , tells AsiaNews : "A meeting not to ask for special favors , but to discuss social justice for all ." Gandhi : "I appreciate the services rendered by the Catholic community to society."

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Religious freedom for all minorities, equal rights for Dalit Christians and Muslims, the controversial Food Security Bill : these are some of the themes that Card. Oswald Gracias , archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI ) , discussed in person with Sonia Gandhi , President of the United Progressive Alliance ( UPA ) , the ruling coalition in India. Speaking to AsiaNews, the prelate explained that the meeting which took place on 16 October, "was an opportunity not to ask for special favors, but only justice, equality and protection for all citizens, as guaranteed by the Constitution of our country."

    The cardinal congratulated the President of UPA for the approval of the Food Security Bill, defining the decree - which provides for the distribution of low-cost food for 800 million poor people - as "a giant step towards the government's care for the needy and the oppressed". Gandhi assured the Archbishop that "the concerns raised will be seriously addressed" and said they appreciated "the services rendered by the Catholic community in many fields, particularly education and health care".

    The cardinal told AsiaNews that he would like to "meet all parties in the country," demonstrating that "the Church does not seek privileges , but only wants to exercise our rights under the Constitution. India is the largest secular democracy in the world, the Constitution guarantees basic human rights to all peoples. As Christians we are an integral part of Indian society. "

    In the country the Christian community represents 2.3 % of the population. However, stresses the CBCI President, "for hundreds of years the Church has tirelessly dedicated itself to building this nation. It has made ​​a great contribution to the general welfare of society, without ever discriminating against caste or creed, and has never intervened in matters not concerning us.  Our only request is to be able to work and live freely, according to the rights enshrined in the Constitution. And these include the right to practice our religion. "

     

     

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    See also

    07/02/2012 INDIA
    Cardinal Gracias: the struggle of the Church in India for human development threatens the extremists
    Re-elcted for another two years as President of the Indian Episcopal Conference, the Archbishop of Mumbai calls the Catholic Church an "inalienable part of the nation". False allegations of forced conversions and the violence of Hindu nationalists "intensify our faith and push us to enhance our engagement" among the poor, the marginalized, Dalits, girls and women.

    16/08/2016 11:34:00 INDIA
    Card. Gracias: The Church is always an agent of reconciliation and peace in India

    On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of Independence, celebrated yesterday, the Archbishop of Mumbai thanks God for the gifts granted to the Catholic community. The festival falls in the year of the Jubilee and Mother Teresa's canonization, a "special gift" for the whole world. The commitment of Catholics is dedicated to mutual understanding. Condemnation of forced proselytism but a firm request for freedom of religion and conscience.



    17/03/2005 INDIA
    PM Singh tells bishops minority and Christian Dalit rights will be protected


    20/10/2004 INDIA
    A Hindu al-Qaeda, religious fundamentalism as a political tool

    We want the government to condemn fanatical organisations and provide minorities much needed legal protection, Catholic leader John Dayal says.



    31/03/2010 INDIA
    Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
    The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India gives AsiaNews his personal Easter reflection. He invites the faithful and the clergy to promote with love and courage the Church’s mission rather than fear conversions.



    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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