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India    FEDERAL MINISTER APPLAUDS CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES
Hindu nationalist leaders have rejected an Indian minister's praise for Christian missionaries.
    Defence Minister George Fernandes said that Christian missionaries have helped create good citizens with "a sense of loyalty toward the nation" through education and health care services.
    The current violence is intended "to denigrate the government before the world," he said in the July 17 issue of Outlook, an English weekly.
    But Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice president J.P. Mathur said people do not take Fernandes' words 'very seriously', as they know "what exactly the missionaries are doing."
    Fernandes is a minister in the BJP-led federal coalition government.
   
UCAN
   
18 July 00



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