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India    CATHOLIC LEADERS SKEPTICAL ABOUT 2001 'YEAR OF CHRIST'
A proclamation by the state of Delhi to make 2001 the Year of Jesus Christ has failed to reassure Catholic leaders who noted recent attacks on Christian targets, according to the Fides news agency.
    In a statement issued last week, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India expressed concern for 'renewed attacks' on Christian targets. A day before the release of the statement, a statue of Our Lady was desecrated at Sacred Heart Church in the town of Bidar, in southern Karnataka state.
    In the Delhi Archdiocese, the statement reported, vandals were thwarted by guards from breaking into a church in a remote village; they later attacked a Hindu living nearby who challenged them. "The man died later at the Catholic Holy Family hospital in New Delhi," the statement said.
    Delhi's proclamation of the Year of Jesus Christ follows a similar one by the state of Madhya Pradesh. The Delhi government called together 65 Christian leaders to discuss the matter and charged an executive committee with elaborating a plan to celebrate the event.
    Zenit (available soon)
   
13 Sep 00



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