India: Fundamentalist militants harass Christians

Source: FSSPX News


Bishop Thomas Dabre of Vasai in the State of Maharashtra whose capital is Mumbai (formerly Bombay), and three priests were attacked by some 200 Hindu demonstrators who threw stones at them on January 29. The bishop and the three priests were on their way to the village of Ghosali to bless a home for orphans and street urchins, they were vigorously defended against the activists of the "Bajrang Dal" a radical Hindu movement by the villagers who came to their rescue.

Christians are regularly the object of attacks from the Hindu fundamentalists partisans of hindutva, "hinduity or indianity", a political concept which commands the activity of various Indian political and cultural groups. This is the reason why the next general assembly of the bishops of India, which will take place in Bangalore from February 8 to 15, will examine this increasingly worrying issue.

On the other hand, from February 11 to 13 the district of Dangs – State of Gujarat – will host a large Hindu meeting – Kumbh Mela – in view of converting the aboriginal populations back to Hinduism. This area contains a population of which 92 % is aboriginal and among them less than 5% are Christians versus 89% Hindus. In 1998, the Christians of Dangs were already submitted to violence at the hand of these same groups which organize the Kumbh Mela. So, they have already planned to withdraw and come back only after the end of the meeting. "It is a question of life and death for the Christians", affirmed Samson Christian, in charge of this exodus. They "will get rid of us if we do not go away".

Yet, Fr. Xavier Manjooran, who coordinates various associations in order to mitigate the "Hindu threat", explained the snares which may be set up by some who would like to take over their lands. "They have done this so many times and in so many different places", he added.

According to sources cited by Churches of Asia, fanatic agitators from the Sangh Parivar would have already begun to intimidate Christians of the "aboriginal belt" in the South of the State of Gujarat.