Social & Cultural
Attacks on Christians in India
In India, anti-Christian riots and rampages by Hindu extremists have claimed at least 38 lives since late August, while destroying dozens of churches and leaving as many as 30,000 people homeless. Christians are being killed, threatened and forced to abandon their homes and wander about in search of refuge.
These riots began after a Hindu religious leader was shot dead. Left-wing Maoist rebels have claimed responsibility for the shooting, but hard-line Hindu groups continue to blame the minority Christian community.
Pope Benedict XVI decried the killing of Christians during a mass in St. Peters Basilica and appealed on Sunday for political and religious leaders to defend them. Benedict called on leaders to "spare no effort" so that "honest and loyal citizens can count on adequate protection" from national authorities.
Also British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has condemned the recent anti-Christian violence in India and called on the Indian government to stop the violence and address its causes. Then accusing the Indian government of failing to stop violence against Christians, people from all faiths staged a rally in Philadelphia and demanded strong action against those responsible for the attacks. The leaders of this rally faulted the Indian government for not taking strong enough action to end the violence against Christians, especially in Orissa.
Representatives of local Indian churches said, "Despite numerous pleas for help, the government has not sufficiently responded to the situation." Benedict says he is sure that the ancient and noble people of India have learned, through centuries of respectful coexistence, to appreciate the contribution that the small, but hardworking and qualified, Christian minorities contribute to the growth of their country. Benedict insists that the Christians "are not seeking privileges, but desire only to be able to continue to live in their country together with their fellow citizens, as they have always done."
Will the international pressure be enough to impact the actions of the Indian government? Check out the video I've posted for more information regarding this issue...
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