Christians condemn bomb blasts in Kashmir and MumbaiThe All India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest association of lay Catholics in India, expressed condemnation and sorrow over the series of explosions that rocked Mumbai (formerly Bombay) Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The following press statement was issued July 12 by the union president, Dr. John Dayal.
Terrorists, Religious fanatics strengthen each otherThe minority Christian community in in India is shocked at the wonton loss of life in the bomb blasts in Kashmir and Mumbai. Innocent people have been targetted in the mindless violence which is designed to create distances between communities. Our hearts go out to the victims, the injured and the relatives of the dead as we pray for peace and courage in the face of this dastardly conspiracy.
It is our experience that these dark forces of fanaticism strengthen each other in a mutual frenzy of disseminating hate and intolerance. The nation must be united in defeating them wherever they exist.
We, the tiny Christian community of India, are ourselves victims of such terrorist elements. Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, which are citadels of the Sangh Parivar.
We have repeatedly sought the immediate attention of the Central and State Governments to ensure that this violence is brought to an end and adequate measures taken to instil security and confidence in our community, especially people living in remote areas, pastors and church workers.
The delay in government action goes to encourage the vicious hate mongers of the Hindutva brigade who seem to fear neither police nor administration as they vigorously incite anti-Christian feelings in the State. The recent announcement by Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of the Pejawar Mutt that the pontiffs of Hindu mutts would meet in Tirupati on 15 July 2006 to chalk out strategies against the activities of Christian missionaries, would only serve to worsen the situation. This statement of forced conversions is absolutely false, motivated and part of a design to attack Christian community through out the nation by instigating innocent masses thereby to create commotion and unrest in the State and nation.
It is ominous that Andhra Pradesh, once a peaceful state, has now become an active laboratory of Hindutva. Recent months have seen the cold-blooded murder of five pastors, (Daniel and Isaac Raju - Hyderabad, Sydney David - Laxetpet, Yesudas - Siddipet, Prem Kumar - Nizamabad), attacks on various churches, vandalisation of the Bible and other religious objects, stepped up campaign against Christian nurses and nuns in hospitals and increased religious policing portend unpleasant times for the Christian community who are involved in education and medicare.