12/12/2007, 00.00
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More than 500 cases of anti-Christian violence in 23 months

Members of the Church, believers and places of worship have been victimised. A Christian group has collected the evidence and has slammed the collusion and protection with Hindu nationalists. Now it wants the central government act against the violence which is “worse than terrorist attacks.” The bishop of Vasai calls on believers of every faith to work together for human rights.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – “In the past 23 months, the GCIC has collected documentary evidence of 500 reported cases of anti-Christian violence all over the country. These attacks on Christians have been largely the product of the sinister religious hatred by Hinduvta forces, under the umbrella organisation of the Sangh Parivar, [groups] like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party,” this according to Sajan K. George, chairman of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). He recently spoke to AsiaNews about the violence saying that his organisation wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to intervene and put a stop to the violence.

In the letter the GCIC lists the various incidents of violence against individual Christians and Christian places of worships whose purpose is “to create an atmosphere of fear and terror,” adding that “[t]his type of threat to internal freedom is worse than terrorist attacks.”

The letter goes on to say that “Hindutva elements had the temerity to protest against the police attempt to find the culprits. There is no doubt that pre-meditated attacks were the result of a conspiracy and it is in the interest of the nation to expose the real culprits.” For this reason it urges the central government to “take urgent remedial measures.”

Mgr Thomas Dabre, bishop of Vasai and a member of the pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, said that “religious leaders must work together to promote human rights and create an environment that can assert, respect and honour everyone’s rights.”

He told AsiaNews on World Human Rights Day that “it is fundamental that the leaders of various religions fight any violation of human rights, whether against women, children, the marginalised, migrants, Dalits and Tribals and the unborn.”

“Everyone teaches their followers to have faith in God, and faith implies that we are all children of God. This is our dignity, being children of God. Anyone denying this dignity violates human rights.” (NC)

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See also
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Hindu extremists slander the Church but send their children to Church-run schools
India's Hindu Radical go on the offensive, calling for a stop to conversions to Christianity and Islam
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