03/24/2011, 00.00
INDIA - PAKISTAN

Christians in India and Pakistan condemn "pure madness" of Koran burned in Florida

Nirmala Carvalho
Sajan K George, director of the Global Council for Indian Christians, and Msgr. Saldanha, archbishop of Lahore, condemn the act, calling it "outrageous." Meanwhile, Muslim fundamentalism on the rise in India.

 New Delhi (AsiaNews) - A "disrespectful act of pure madness”, this is how Sajan K George, director of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), defines the act of Pastor Wayne Sapp, who in Florida March 20 last, burned a Koran under the supervision of the evangelical preacher Terry Jones. "Freedom of expression – he adds - does not mean insulting others and hurting their religious sentiments."

The Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha of Lahore has expressed his anger and dismay at the incident. In a press statement, the prelate said: "On behalf of the Catholic bishop and Christians in Pakistan, I condemn this act of madness, which does not represent Christian values or teachings of the Church. We regret to note that someone who calls himself pastor is so ignorant in what is his religion, as well as normal decency. " Last September, Terry Jones drew condemnation from the international community for his proposal of wanting to set fire to a pile of Korans to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The outrageous act of the pastor - reaffirms Sajan George - is in contrast to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ." However, in denouncing the burning the GCIC Director calls on world leaders not to forget the alarming increase of cases of persecution of Christians around the world

The first reference to Pakistan, whose draconian blasphemy law has cost the lives of Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, and is poised to take that of Asia Bibi and many others.

In India, there is increasing concern about the recent spread throughout the country of the Popular Front of India (Islamic) and its connection with other fundamentalist groups and associations. Among these, the Jammat-e-Islami, the People's Democratic Front and the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi). Just a month ago, on February 19 Muslim militants set fire to the International School St. Paul, a private Christian school.

The network of the Popular Front of India is constantly growing. These include the Citizen's Forum (Goa), the Community Social and Educational Society (Rajasthan), the Nagrik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti (West Bengal), Lion Social Forum (Manipur) and the Association of Social Justice (Andhra Pradesh).

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