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  • » 12/21/2017, 09.57

    INDIA

    Interior Minister promises a safe Christmas. But celebrations blocked in Rajasthan



    The president of the Episcopal Conference hands over a memorandum for the protection of Christians to Rajnath Singh. Several episodes of intimidation are ruining the Christmas celebrations. Card. Cleemis: "Accidents threaten the credibility of our democratic system".

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Rajnath Singh, Indian Minister of the Interior, has assured that Christmas in India will take place without problems. Yesterday he met a delegation led by Card. Baselios Cleemis, president of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), who reported the concerns of Christians in the light of a series of episodes of intimidation in recent days. The Union government number two has promised safe festivities. However, just yesterday evening in Rajasthan, a group of Hindu fundamentalists interrupted a Christmas ceremony accusing the organizers of "forced conversions".

    The meeting between the representative of the government of Narendra Modi and the ecclesiastical hierarchy takes place at a critical moment for the Christian minority. Last week in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, 30 seminarians and two priests were detained while they were in a village to perform Christmas carols. The Hindu radicals held them hostage and set a car on fire owned by another priest who had rushed to the police station to get news of the detainees. A couple of days ago in Uttar Pradesh a far-right youth faction linked to chief minister Yogi Adityanath issued a warning to Catholic schools: not to celebrate Christmas because it "leads" to the conversion of children. During the Advent period, again in Uttar Pradesh, seven Pentecostals were arrested on proselytism charges; the judge ordered them to be released on bail, but their judicial case is just beginning.

    Card. Cleemis stated: “I submitted a memorandum to the home minister to seek justice for the innocent people, request him to ensure such events do not happen in future and to provide safety for everyone in the country". Two days ago the Cardinal went to Satna, where he collected the testimonies of the Catholics and spoke to the police and civil authorities. The events of Satna, he argues, "threaten the credentials of our democratic system.” He bemoaned that the police remained silent spectators when the Church people were manhandled inside the police station. The seminarians have been conducting non formal education in the village for several years. The attackers were all outsiders, not the villagers, the cardinal explained. “Instead of registering a case against the attackers the police filed a case against a priest for alleged conversion,” he added. The prelate dismissed the conversion charge as “frivolous” and “absolutely baseless.”

    Despite the reassurances of the minister, yesterday around 8:30 pm (local time) some nationalist fanatics blocked Christmas celebrations in the district of Pratapgarh, in Rajasthan. The event was organized by the association "Masih Shakti Samiti" (committee of the power of Jesus) at the community center, owned by the government and right in front of the revenue agency and the police headquarters. Witnesses say that the radicals raided and overturned the modest decorations that embellished the hall. In a video filmed during the aggression, fundamentalists accuse the organizers of conversions extorted by force. "It's not true. The rally was authorized by the district authorities ", is the reply of the Christians, who were first arrested and then released overnight.

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    See also

    15/12/2017 09:25:00 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh, dangerous Christmas songs: 30 seminarians and two priests held hostage

    The Christians were detained yesterday in Satna. Their car was burned. Like every year, they wanted to reach a remote village to hold a Christmas carol service.



    28/12/2017 15:26:00 INDIA
    Bishop of Sagar: proclaiming Christ in the streets at Christmas without fear (Photos)

    Anti-Christian demonstrations and arrests have occurred in recent weeks. On 23 December about a thousand people from various Christian denominations took part in a large procession. Some five thousand people from all religions visited a nativity scene set up in front of the cathedral. Mgr Anthony Chirayath describes Christmas celebrations. “We are very happy because we were able to announce the birth of Jesus Christ,” he said.



    15/12/2016 09:42:00 INDIA
    Rajasthan, 20 Carol singing Catholics beaten for "forced conversions"

    The faithful belong to Tikariya parish, which annually organizes carol services in private homes. Among them were women, children and sisters. The priest also attacked, admitted to hospital.

     



    04/01/2018 17:54:00 INDIA
    For Mgr Mascarenhas, to impose Hindu worship in Catholic schools is a form of terrorism

    About 900 members of the the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad are gathered in front of St Mary's Post Graduate College in Vidisha. India’s Home Affairs minister deployed 400 police agents to re-establish order. The bishop hopes for a 2018 "of peace and harmony".



    22/12/2017 10:08:00 INDIA
    Uttar Pradesh Government promises crackdown on Hindu radicals targeting Christmas

    The Federal Interior Minister calls chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The militants of Hindu Jagrant Manch threatened Catholic schools. "To ensure that the freedom to practice one's religion is protected at all costs".





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