27 February, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/23/2004
INDIA
Government and Hindu fundamentalists against Christians in Orissa
Balasore Bishop appeals to central government. Police and media spread false rumours about conversions to justify anti-Christian violence.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Catholic authorities in Orissa have decided to appeal to the central government to stop an anti-Christian campaign launched in this eastern Indian state by local Hindu fundamentalists, police and media.

The Times of India yesterday reported three Christians were assaulted suspected of converting residents in the village of Gopinath, Balasore district. In another story, police reported a man was beaten by Christians for refusing to convert. Such contradictory accounts are part of a trend targeting "conversions".

Mgr Thomas Thiruthalil, Bishop of Balasore, told AsiaNews that the issue of conversions "is a tool easily used by extremist groups who want to arouse communal passion".

"Anti-social elements are taking advantage of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act," the Bishop said, "to intimidate Tribals with the knowledge and consent of the local administration".

The Act prohibits forced conversion but is used as a legal instrument to threaten Tribals most of whom are illiterate and easily swayed by fundamentalists and politicians.

Bishop Thiruthalil, who is also chairman of the Orissa Bishops' Regional Council, said he was going to write the Home minister to urge him to investigate this matter.

John Dayal, President of the All India Catholic Union, said that claims about forced conversions are fabricated by fundamentalists whilst stories about anti-Christian violence are all true.

"Why," Mr Dayal asks, "is the Orissa police not as zealous in investigating anti-Christian incidents as it is when just the word 'conversion' is uttered?"

Orissa is under a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration, a party that till May of this year also controlled the Union government. It is also a stronghold of Hindu fundamentalism. Groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or World Hindu Council, the BJP's extremist religious wing, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or National Volunteer Corps, a Hindu paramilitary organisation, are very active in the state. They are well known for their anti-religious minority ideology.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/27/2006 INDIA
Hindu fundamentalists "re-convert" more than 600 tribal Christians
by Nirmala Carvalho
03/02/2007 INDIA
150 Christian outcastes “return” to Hinduism
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/01/2004 INDIA
New attack against Christians in Kerala
12/18/2004 INDIA
Hindu fundamentalists stage 're-conversions'
05/30/2006 PAKISTAN
Around 600 people a year are forcely converted to Islam
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.