India’s Catholic bishops ask government to subdue violent Hindu radicals
The executive body of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, meeting in Bangalore on Friday, issued a statement expressing “utter disappointment” at the “apathy and inaction” of the national and state governments in the face of anti-Christian violence committed by extremist Hindus. Calling upon Indian officials to stop the violence and to help its victims, they denied allegations of forced conversions to Christianity and suggested such charges are self-serving.
The bishops lamented the murder of innocent people, the molestation of women, the desecration and destruction of churches and religious places, and the destruction of Christians’ homes in various districts of the east coast state of Orissa, the Indian Catholic reports.
“The State Government kept giving an assurance that things were normal and security arrangements were perfect,” the statement read. “Yet when representations were made, it pleaded inability to control the mobs that vandalized church property [and] assailed religious personnel and the Christian population.”
The bishops claimed that the perpetrators of the violence were “trained agents of radical Hindutva activists” acting under instructions and executing a “master plan of destruction.”
The bishops’ statement also reports that the violence has spread to Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
According to the bishops, the violence is undermining India’s ancient values of “Ahimsa (non-injury), Truth, Tolerance, and Respect for Religions.”
The attacks have also damaged India’s international image of secular democracy, the bishops claim.
I fear that the inaction against Islamists have helped other groups to consider why they weren’t using violence for their own goals.