The Indian Catholic bishops' standing committee says recent atrocities against Christians have helped make the religion better known in the country and strengthened its members' faith.
    They said the atrocities "have brought blessings for us", deepening faith and imbibing "a readiness to suffer with Christian hope and greater unity."
    The violence also made the Church and Christian values "better known all over the country," said the bishops, who nonetheless chalked out an action plan to counter the nationwide anti-Christian campaign.
    Strengthening spirituality, promoting interreligious dialogue, improving communication, increasing social involvement and building up interreligious solidarity are among the ways suggested to counter the attacks.
    The bishops also said events have proved that the Church needs a "more effective, accurate and speedy communications network" and stressed that "all the news of the Church should be disseminated to combat untruths."
    They said the Indian Church faced "a moment of trial and suffering" because of the violence against the Church during the past year and warned of fundamentalists' "long-term determined plans" to attack the Church.
    Noting an increase in attacks on Christians since a pro-Hindu government came to power in March 1998, the bishops urged Church members to try to win over negative attitudes with Christian love.
    CBCI president Archbishop Alan de Lastic of Delhi, who chaired the meeting, told UCA News that the attacks are part of a larger scheme "aimed to divide the tribal Christians, exploit and demoralize them."

10:58am 21/4/99 / UCA News


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