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Nuns defy hindu militants' threat at Indian school

A Catholic School run by Ursuline nuns in south India has decided to defy threats by Hindu groups to drop the Lord's Prayer from the school assembly.

Hindu fundamentalists visited the Vidya Jyothi School at Mysore last week and warned the Ursuline Sisters of Somasca, who administer the school, to stop the recitation of the Lord's Prayer within a month or face dire consequences.

"They accused us of trying to convert Hindu students to Christianity. But we told them that the only conversion taking place here is conversion from illiteracy to literacy. Being a Christian institution, we have the freedom to say the beautiful Lord's Prayer," one of the senior teachers at the convent school told in a phone interview from Mysore.

The nun said that most of the 500 students at the village school are poor Hindus, and the school has been imparting free education by arranging for benefactors to pay the students' fees. The Hindu parents have promised "full support" to continue the prayers, she said.

Meanwhile, Christian activists have expressed concern over the "unprovoked threats" against the Christian institution in the southern Karnataka state. The Global Council of Indian Christians pointed out that Mysore has been "witnessing attacks on Christians at regular intervals, on frivolous grounds," and urged the state government "to curb the epidemic of disruptive ideologues seeking to humiliate the minorities in the state."


16 Jul 2002