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India    HINDU LEADER CALLS FOR ERASURE OF CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE FROM GOA
A Hindu leader's plan to erase Christian influence in Goa, a predominantly Catholic Portuguese enclave until 1961, has upset Christians, some of whom have described the sugestion as 'Hindu madness'.
    Jiveshwar Mishra, general secretary of the state unit of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, world Hindu council), announced a plan to 'erase' Goa's image as 'Rome of the East'.
    Mishra told media that Christianity reduced Goa to a 'free-for-all pleasure hunt'.
    Christians comprise 30% and Hindus 65% of Goa's 1.16 million people, according to the 1991 national census.
    Jesuit Father Cajetan Coelho of the Xavier Center of Historic Research said such threats from Hindu leaders have no basis.
    He explained that the term 'Rome of the East' originally referred to the 16th-century capital city of Portuguese Goa, known for its distinct Roman architectural influence on buildings, roads and churches.
   
UCAN
   
10 Oct 00



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