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Indian bishop urges religious to face persecution with joy


The new bishop of the southern Indian city of Ahmedabad has told religious congregations that persecution is "nothing new in the Church", and they should be prepared to suffer at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists.

Bishop Thomas Macwan was addressing the annual gathering of the Conference of Religious in India told the religious that they should be ready to face persecution with joy.

"Persecution is nothing new in the Church," he said. "Even the apostles and early Christians faced it."

He urged the the religious to "build a personal relationship with Christ" in order to "give [their] best in ministries in spite of oppositions".

Referring to the controversial Freedom of Religion Bill, Bishop Macwan said, "It is not a Bill of freedom but a Bill of oppression." The Christians will go to court over it after the Government promulgates the law, he said.

Earlier this year the Parliament of the State of Gujarat passed the bill that requires anyone wishing to convert from one faith to another to first obtain permission from the District Magistrate.

SOURCE
Catholic Bishops Conference of India

LINKS
Catholic Bishops Conference of India | Ahmedabad Diocese
Church in Gujarat Copes Amid a Growing Hindu Fundamentalism (Zenit/WorldWide Religious News)

Pope accused of interfering in Indian affairs (Ekklesia)



11 Jul 2003