» 05/07/2013, 00.00
Jesuit: Minorities are second-class citizens in Gujarat
Fr. Cedric Prakash comments on the latest report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which analyzes the situation of the Indian state. The anti-conversion law in Gujarat imposes the civil authorities permission to change religion. For years, the U.S. deny head of the government a visa, for his role in the massacres of 2002.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "In 2013 minorities
are still treated as second-class citizens in Gujarat ": the complaint comes
from Fr. Cedric
Prakash, director of the Prashant Jesuit Centre in Ahmedabad for human
rights, justice and peace, commenting on the
latest report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
two days ago, the report has added India to level 2 of its ranking among the
countries where the violations and religious persecution are growing, focusing
on the situation in the State of Gujarat.
The priest noted that "the anti-conversion
decree [Gujarat Freedom of Religion Law 2003] of our state is one of the
most draconian laws across the country, because it forces anyone who wants to
convert to first ask the civil authority. Nowadays in different areas of Gujarat
police visit Christian churches and asks to examine the baptisms records".
Besides the current situation, the Jesuit
recalls attention to the fact that "the victims and survivors of the
massacres of 2002, are still struggling to get justice." On
27 February 2002 the Sabarmati Express carnage took place at Godhra when
a group of Muslims attacked and set fire to the train, on board which the
Hindus returning from Ayodhya were traveling. Ayodhya is the site of an ancient mosque seized by Hindus
years ago . The
attack - which killed 58 people - sparked violent riots in Gujarat, in which
the Islamic community paid the highest price, with nearly 2 thousand victims.
In this regard, he stresses, "the UCIRF
renewed its request to the U.S. government to ban the entry visa to Narendra
minister of Gujarat, explaining that there is sufficient evidence that
connects him to the 2002 massacres". Modi
has long been accused of conspiring in the fighting, for not taking any action
to stop it and failing to establish any investigation. The
U.S. denies him a visa to enter the country under the 1998 International
Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), which denies visas to those individuals who
have committed a serious infringement of religious freedom.
Hindu leaders threaten Muslim massacre in wake of Mumbai bombs
The World Hindu Council has warned the government: if you do not bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai train attack to justice, we are ready to organise a second slaughter of the Islamic minority. Previous ones took place in 2002 and 1993.
Goa, murderers of fr. Ferrao arrested
Culprits are two men from Uttar Pradesh: one "was a friend of fr. Ferrao". Still unknown the motives.
Murdered: Goa parish priest who spoke out against inter-faith violence
The motive and the killers remain a mystery. It may have been two men who had asked for shelter the previous night. The archdiocese has condemned the "cold-blooded crime" and called on the authorities to "intervene rapidly against the culprits of this vile act".
Karnataka: two pastors assaulted and arrested on false accusations of forced conversions
They were ambushed by 10 Hindu radicals while returning from the house of a religious believer. Insults, threats and beatings, then the complaint and arrest. The Global Council of Indian Christians: "Complicity between extremists and the government."
Hindu militants forcibly prevent alleged “mixed marriage”
Armed with swords and tridents, a group broke into a Marriage Registrar’s office in Madhya Pradesh to prevent marriage between a woman – who they claimed was a Hindu – and a Christian man. The woman says she is animist and has threatened to commit suicide.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
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