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    » 09/20/2008, 00.00

    INDIA

    Witnesses of the Cross of Christ also make India more free

    Telesphore P. Toppo

    Cardinal Toppo talks about the persecution of Christians in many parts of India. The work of Mahatma Gandhi must be completed, and hatred and terrorism must be overcome with the nonviolence and forgiveness of Christ. Because in reality, "truth alone triumphs".

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "The father of the nation brought freedom to India, freedom from British rule. Sadly, however, Mahatma’s struggle for liberation in India is not complete". AsiaNews presents an exclusive reflection given by Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, to correspondent Nirmala Carvalho. In it, the cardinal explains how the anti-Christian violence underway  in many parts of the country is an attempt to keep India in the slavery of discrimination and caste division, and to block its complete liberation.

    "Gandhi always preached equality", he recalls, "he never tired of saying, 'We are all children of God', and those blinded – who were unable to understand him - killed him".

    "The work of Gandhiji is not complete. Today, our beloved motherland India is in a certain sense in a worse situation than in the days under the British regime. India has to be liberated from these forces - the forces of darkness which are burning Christians, raping nuns, killing innocent Christians, destroying and desecrating churches - India has to be liberated from them. These forces instigate others to choose to live their lives in the way of darkness and their deeds are death, division and destruction".

    "The central government is taking certain steps in the right direction, and invoked article 355 of the constitution. The opposition to this article 355 is also politically motivated. God writes straight even on crooked lines, and something good will come out of this, truth shall prevail".

    "In the words of our Mahatma: 'They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me - then they will have my dead body, not my obedience'. And in Orissa, our priests, religious and lay people have endured this, and they are witnesses of the light of Christ".

    "We are only instrument of the Risen Lord, we must look at Jesus on the Cross, forgive our enemies, and we shall see that these enemies will be defeated, overcome. The Cross is our strength, we are elected to be witnesses of the Resurrected Christ, and this has a very strong link to our symbol of freedom 'Satya Meva Jayate', meaning 'Truth Alone Triumphs', which is written below our national emblem - one of the national symbols of our freedom".

    "No one lives in a vacuum, we are proud Indians. Gandhi lived the Gospel values, he conquered the British empire, so our ancestors immortalised for all eternity on the national symbol of our freedom the line 'Satya Meva Jayate'. Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi fought against the power of force. In Orissa and the other states ravaged by certain extremists forces, forceful powers were unleashed on the innocent Chrsitians, causing death and destruction for the minority Christian community".

    "Gandhiji’s work his work is yet to be completed. His struggle was for liberty for India and it will be this strength of courage in self-sacrifice and forgiveness that will be for the benefit of all. This is the beginning of something new, for India, for the Church and for the world. Violence, terrorism and hate will be overcome: Truth Will Prevail - Satya Meva Jayate".

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    See also

    18/09/2008 INDIA
    Archbishop of Delhi: Violence against Christians shows crisis of Indian democracy
    Archbishop Vincent Concessao emphasizes that Hindu extremism does not only deny minority rights, but also co-existence and respect for human rights, bringing the constitutional pillars of the country into crisis. In Delhi, Hindu radicals occupy the garden of the Catholic church of Trilokpuri, because they want to build a temple there.

    04/09/2008 INDIA
    Fr Edward, survivor of arson in Orissa: the Hindu radicals are terrorists
    Fr Edward Sequeira is among the victims of fundamentalist violence in Orissa. It was only by a miracle that he escaped from the burning of his orphanage, where his co-worker Rajni Majhi was burned to death. Now hospitalized in Mumbai, in intensive care, he agreed to talk with AsiaNews. For the priest, there needs to be international condemnation of the lack of respect for human rights and religious freedom that dominates rural India.

    05/09/2008 INDIA - VATICAN
    Bishop Dabre: stop fundamentalism with dialogue, following example of Mother Teresa
    Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the model for bringing encounter and collaboration among the religions and cultures of our time: a clear Catholic identity, and an openness without barriers of race or religion. Only dialogue will stop the violence and lies of religious fanaticism. A reflection by Thomas Dabre, bishop of Vasai and a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    27/09/2008 INDIA
    Kandhamal, Hindu fanatics burn down house of sisters of Mother Teresa
    On the evening of September 25, fundamentalists attacked and burned down the house of the Missionaries of Charity in the village of Sukananda. Sister M. Suma, the regional superior, prays for the "persecutors", that they may repent of their violence and "make peace with God" for their actions.

    08/01/2009 INDIA - VATICAN
    Cardinal Dias: Indian government should protect minorities and victims of massacres
    The cardinal recalls the Church's activity on behalf of the people, "without distinction of caste or creed." Cardinal Oswald Gracias asks for prayers "for peace in India and in the world."



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