Biskopene bekymret over tiltagende vold mot kristne

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De indiske katolske biskoper er svært bekymret over de stadig hyppigere tilfeller av vold mot kristne i India. I en appell til hele nasjonen oppfordrer de regjering og folk til å bekjempe kreftene som står bak. Bispekonferansen gjorde dette etter to ekstraordinære møter, hvor de behandlet de kristnes situasjon i delstaten Orissa.

Biskopene påpekte at det også har vært en rekke voldsovergrep i andre deler av landet.

Her følger Den indiske bispekonferanses appell (engelsk):


The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) in its 28th General Assembly held at the XLRI (Xavier Labor Relations Institute), Jamshedpur from 13th-20th February, 2008, expresses with deep pain its serious concern over the escalation of mob violence in India. We note with deep concern that in the recent times there has been an alarming rise in the frequency of incidents where unruly mobs went about terrorizing and unleashing violence on hapless people, especially the women and children belonging to minority communities. The law enforcing agencies, instead of taking a tough stand against the perpetrators of violence and destruction, have let the victims down not only by their apathy and inaction but also by looking the other way. This has added a dangerous and life threatening prone to the plight of the minorities, left to the precarious actions of the violent mobs.

The unprecedented incidents of violence and destruction of people's houses, places of worship, religious women's residences, children's hostels and training institutes in Kandhamal district of Orissa in the last week of December, 2007, on the occasion of Christmas, have shocked the entire Christian community in India. All those who visited the place and consoled the affected people vouch for the fact that the attacks on the tiny Christian community were well planned and meticulously executed to hurt the community. The traumatized men, women and children had to flee from their houses and institutions and hide in forests and mountains for several days in the biting December-January winter without any protection.

Orissa has been in the news for communal disturbances for the past decade. And in spite of it the civil and political administration had not been alert to prevent violence against the Christians even after prior information was given about the impending attacks. The affected people are yet to receive adequate relief to begin again their normal life. On the other hand the State Government has ordered that NGOs and charitable institutions are not at all allowed to distribute relief materials and undertake rehabilitation works. It holds that only the Government controlled Red Cross can do it. This is a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the minorities enshrined in the Constitution as well as of the basic rights of any suffering humanity. Such an attitude can in no way be explained that the Government is concerned with the minorities when they undergo violence and sufferings unjustly.

What was cited above was not an isolated event taking place only now. There have been also reports of violent attacks on a priest and a religious sister in Ujjain by a mob of lawless elements on February 13, 2008, and again just a day after that there was an attack on a priest in Narasingpur, both in Madhya Pradesh, which has earned notoriety for providing shelter to criminal elements that go about creating mayhem. There is a sense of insecurity among law abiding citizens of the country who are constantly under the threat of those who flout the law with impunity.

We are profoundly saddened by the devastation trail the violence has left behind, and we strongly feel that the laws of the land have to be upheld in order to create a sense of security among the people who are often helpless at the hands of criminal elements used by religious fundamental elements. The Sangh Parivar [the "family" of groups striving to make India a Hindu nation] with its different frontline organizations like VHP [Vishwa Hindu Parishad] and Bajrang Dal are often visible in such scenes due to the slogans we hear from the miscreants. We, all the Catholic Bishops of India, very strongly condemn this.

We neither believe in nor endorse violence; we seek to establish peace and unity in the country; we work for the development of our citizens irrespective of their religion, ethnic group, caste or culture. The social commitment to build up the people and the nation through our various educational, health and developmental works are everyday condemned as works of conversion to malign our works. Further it seems that they are not for the real progress and development of the poor with whom we are working for their dignity and social transformation. The vested interests not only malign but go into violence, victimize the weak minorities and treat them with contempt. There further seems to be a collusion with such destructive forces and civil and political authorities who permit such gross Human Rights violations. We also condemn this.

We appeal to the Central and State Governments and all citizens to join hands to isolate the divisive and disruptive forces in the country that are out creating unrest in society. We want peace and development of the country; we cannot leave our future at the mercy of such destructive elements and their violent organizations that mislead innocent people in the garb of religion. We also would like to acknowledge here that there have been plenty of persons belonging to the majority community who sympathize with our sufferings but express their inability to help in such circumstances. It is because they are also threatened with similar violence if they openly tender support to the suffering minority.

India is the home of over a billion people professing all major religious faiths of the world, and we must preserve that hallowed heritage for posterity. Let no one be allowed to tinker with it. We solemnly affirm that our country is built on the Constitutional Democracy, Secularism and Cultural Pluralism. We as a Catholic Church will continue to work towards these ideals and will not allow the destructive forces that destroy the above ideals. We call upon the leaders of every religion, all secularist forces, and civil and political leaders to reaffirm their bounden duty to safeguard these ideals and build up our Bharat Matha [mother India].

Catholic Bishops' Conference of India

UCANews (3. mars 2008)

av Webmaster publisert 03.03.2008, sist endret 03.03.2008 - 11:26