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» 01/03/2013
INDIA - SAUDI ARABIA
Indian Christian calls on Saudi Arabia to recognise migrants' religious rights
by Nirmala Carvalho
Detained and arrested in 2004 on false proselytising charges, Brian O'Connor appeals for openness. In his view, granting religious rights to non-Muslims would be a "positive change" for the country. A study by the Centre for Development Studies indicates that the children of Indian migrants "grow up confused," which may manifest itself "in rebellion, school absenteeism, drop-outs and substance abuse".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Saudi Arabia should grant Christian migrants religious freedom as well as the right to build churches in the country. The public value of religion must be recognised as every human being's right to self-fulfilment," said Brian O'Connor in an appeal made through AsiaNews.

In 2004, the Christian from India was held in a Saudi jail, in chains, tortured for seven months and seven days for alleged proselytising. Released after an international campaign on his behalf to which AsiaNews participated, he said that "recognising this right would be a positive change for the whole country."

In a country that does not recognise or protect any religion other than Islam, "Indian migrants worship in the privacy of their homes," O'Connor said. "However, they are often victims of raids and arrests by the Muttawa, the religious police. It is urgent and essential that Indian Christians and Hindus, as well as other non-Muslim migrants be granted the right to worship freely without discrimination and persecution."

A new study, Migration Report 2013 - Social Cost of Migration, will be presented next Monday in Kochi (Kerala). Written by Irudayan Nayan, from the Centre for Development Studies, the paper was commissioned by the research unit on international migration of the Ministry of Overseas' Indian Affairs. Its focus is on the Indian Diaspora in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

According to its findings, Saudi Arabia continues to be the desired destination among low- and semi-skilled workers from India. However, "In the absence of adequate parental guidance, children grow up confused and this may manifest itself in rebellion, school absenteeism, drop-outs and substance abuse".

The most painful and tangible social cost of migration is in fact the separation of children from parents, the study found, adding that the absence of mothers, in particular, results in the breakdown of traditional care-giving arrangements.

In 2011, at least 289,297 Indians moved to Saudi Arabia seeking employment.


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See also
06/03/2005 INDIA - SAUDI ARABIA
The infamous Muttawa tortures Christians, says Brian O'Connor
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/24/2004 SAUDI ARABIA
New false accusations brought in court against O'Connor, an Indian-born Christian
by Lorenzo Fazzini
02/06/2010 SAUDI ARABIA - INDIA
Brian O'Connor: discrimination and religious intolerance the evils of Saudi Arabia
by Nirmala Carvalho
11/25/2004 SAUDI ARABIA - INDIA
Brian O'Connor: "My story, a Christian in a Saudi jail"
by Nirmala Carvalho
11/03/2004 INDIA - SAUDI ARABIA
India's Christians elated by O'Connor's release

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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