13 October, 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

» 02/22/2010
Punjab: clashes between Christians and Hindu extremists, Protestant church burned
by Nirmala Carvalho
Violence sparked by an image of Jesus drinking beer and smoking. The faithful protest, demanding the closure of shops and businesses. Hindu fundamentalist groups wage urban warfare. Bishop of Jalandhar condemns the "provocative actions", but calls on the faithful to peace and forgiveness.

Jalandhar (AsiaNews) - Authorities in Batala, a town of Punjab, have partially removed curfew after clashes broke out last February 20 between Hindu extremists and the Christian minority. To violence was sparked by the publication of a cartoon with a picture of Jesus raising a beer in one hand and holding a cigarette in the other. The chief minister of Punjab condemns the blasphemous image and promises an iron fist against anyone who "foments sectarian hatred." Bishop Anil Couto, Bishop of Jalandhar, invites the faithful "to peace and brotherhood."  

The cartoon, published by a publisher in Delhi, has sparked protests from the Christian community of Batala, a town in the district of Gurdaspur in Punjab. On 20 February the city streets were the scene of violent clashes between Hindus and Christians, who wanted the closure of shops and businesses. Activists of Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena - Hindu extremist groups - waged a guerrilla war on the Christians, injuring to 10 people, damaging several shops and the burning of the Salvation Army Mukhi Fauj church, the city's oldest and best known.    

To stem the violence, local authorities have imposed a curfew, which has been partly removed today. A police official says that they want to give people the possibility to "to leave their homes for shopping or other necessities." He also adds that "the level of alert" remains high to prevent new clashes.  

Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, has condemned the offensive image and points the finger at "those who do not appreciate peace” and foment sectarian hatred. He adds that the police have recieved well-defined guidelines to "punish those guilty of sacrilege."

Mgr. Anil Couto, Bishop of Jalandhar, appeals for calm and brotherhood. The prelate calls the faithful to practice the teachings of the Gospel, promoting peace and forgiveness, but at the same time points out that too often "provocative actions or images" wound the soul and the religious feelings of Christians. He invites the faithful to "be proud" of their religion, while not forgetting the message "of peace and love brought by Jesus Christ."    

Even some Hindu organizations have condemned the insulting image that portrays Jesus as he drinks and smokes. They call for the arrest of those who would hurt the sentiments of Christian community.  

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/07/2011 INDIA
Karnataka: police arrest Pentecostal pastor on false charges
by Nirmala Carvalho
08/27/2010 INDONESIA
Jakarta, Christians, Buddhists and Muslims demand tolerance from extremists
by Mathias Hariyadi
11/30/2004 INDIA
Dialogue and prayers against violence, says Orissa Archbishop
by Santosh Digal
03/10/2011 EGYPT
Cairo, Al-Azhar condemns violence against Christians
10/26/2009 INDIA - PAKISTAN
The courage of the Church of Pakistan, against the "Islamization" of society
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
Pope: In “extremely difficult social and marital context”, Church called to carry out mission in fidelity, truth and charity.The opening Mass of the Synod on "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world," Pope Francis speaks of the paradoxes of global society: "power" accompanied by loneliness and helplessness." Today's man "ridicules" the family and love, but thirsts for it. The Church bears witness to indissoluble love, but must not forget to care and sustain "the man who falls or who errs." "A Church with closed doors betrays itself and its mission, and instead of being a bridge it becomes a barrier."
Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong in the top ten of the world economyWorld Economic Forum on competitiveness ranking published. Top three unchanged since last year: Switzerland, Singapore and the United States. Japan sixth, followed by Hong Kong. The world economy is slowing down compared to the previous decade, only exception- addition to China - India, which gains 16 positions.
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.


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.