» 11/30/2010, 00.00
Rajasthan, Hindu extremists attack a gathering of Charismatic Catholics
The radicals of the VHP launch false allegations of forced conversions and block access to the school of St. Paul. The Bishop of Udaipur: "We're not doing anything against the Constitution of India or against freedom of conscience, and yet Christians are increasingly attacked and targeted by the far-right Hinduvata groups.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) said that " on November 26th, Rajasthan VHP activists protested over alleged conversion activities, and shouted slogans and made baseless and fabricated allegations of conversions taking place at a Charismatic Convention being held in St Paul's School in Udaipur. The activists of the VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad, a group of Hindu extremists) also prevented the participants at the convention from leaving the school and denied entry to others who wanted to participate”. The convention was attended by about 1,250 Catholics from nearby villages. One hundred Hindu activists rallied outside the school, and began shouting slogans against alleged conversions. The crowd grew in number, blocking entry. The people in the school were scared, but they could not leave. The protest and the blockade continued for over an hour.
"We're not doing anything against the Constitution of India or against freedom of conscience, and yet Christians are increasingly targeted and attacked by right-wing Hindutva groups," said Joseph Pathalil bishop of the Diocese of Udaipur. "Every time we meet, according to them, is only for one reason: conversions. This is their constant accusation and it is completely contrived and baseless. "
The bishop also said: "The authorities have responded promptly and came to the rescue. A meeting was arranged between us and the leaders of Hindutva. I assured them that no conversions were taking place. The police then asked some questions from organizers and participants of the charismatic meeting who resolutely and categorically stated that their grandparents were Christians, they were Christians for generations and not new converts. Only then was the crowd of extremists dispersed by".
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