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Indian Church buildings ransacked priest beaten up
    In four separate incidents of violence against Christians, churches were attacked, a priest was beaten up and nuns were once again made to suffer.
    Bishops' Conference spokesman Fr Dominic Emmanuel said the crimes cannot pass unobserved: "The country must question itself about the reasons for the violence while Parliament is meeting for its Winter Session" he told Fides.
    The Catholic Bishops have asked Christian MPs to raise the matter in the House.
    The most serious incident took place in Madhya Pradesh state. 64 year old Fr C. Alphonse was brutally attacked by a mob last Tuesday around 1.15 am. Two days earlier about 100 Hindu militants stoned Christians in the Kolar district of the southern state of Karnataka, alleging that the Christians were distributing leaflets and books containing a message of conversion. In the third incident, attackers looted the Convent of St Mary's in Jwalapur near Haridwar, Meerut diocese in Uttar Pradesh state, after holding the nuns captive. And last Sunday in Gujarat, a small chapel used by tribal Christians was ransacked.
    In the last two years as many as 200 cases of violence against Christians have been reported. Hindu extremists justify attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities on the grounds that these believers disturb the peace. The Hindu fundamentalists, who support the ruling party Bharatiya Janata, call for the expelling of all foreign missionaries and the institution of a national Church, Chinese style.
    But the Director of the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi, Fr Ambrose Pinot, said: "There is nothing patriotic about attacking churches and convents or falsifying history, and denying the Catholic Church's part in building India's democracy."
   
Fides
   
6-Dec-00