Goa BJP makes minorities feel insecure: MLA

July 24, 2014 by admin  
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Rama sena GoaPorvorim, July 24, 2014: An independent member of Goa legislative member says state BJP government’s language has changed since the BJP came to power at the Centre and minorities in Goa are feeling insecure as more are applying for Portuguese passport.

Fatorda independent MLA Vijai Sardesai said on Tuesday that among things that worry minorities is the soft stance of the state towards Ram Sene chief Pramod Mutalik’s planned entry into Goa, The Times of India reported.

During a discussion in the legislative assembly, Sardesai said accused BJP of moving in directions that make minorities feel insecure.

A sign of more people feeling insecure in the state should be seen more applying for Portuguese passports. He said he has learnt that daily about 47 Goans are applying for Portuguese passports.

He also accused BJP of “double talk.” While the party proclaims it is against moral policing, the BJP mahila wing rails against pub culture in Goa.

“They say this is Portuguese culture, by which, they blame the minorities. This language has started only after the BJP came to power at the Centre. This double talk will ruin tourism. This double talk will result in a self-goal,” Sardesai said.

Sardesai also accused the BJP government of invoking the special marriage act just to facilitate the marriage of one girl but in the process, diluting the very definition of Goan-ness. Sardesai said that this had diluted the unique uniform civil code of Goa and wondered why the government was hankering after special status for the state.

He also wanted to know why BJP was silent when its central leader Subramaniam Swamy wrongly accused the Church of being against HIV infected children.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, however, interrupted Sardesai saying he could rake up all these issues when he spoke on the demands but that he could not do so when he was speaking on the budget.

- toi

Peace and religious harmony in India, “the goal” of Christians and Jains

July 24, 2014 by admin  
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Christian and JainMumbai, July 22, 2014: A fruitful conversation, aimed to strengthen the relationship between the Christian and Jain communities, with a mutual commitment to work for peace and religious harmony in India. This is how Msgr. Felix Anthony Machado, Archbishop of Vasai, describes his meeting with Swasti Shri Bhattaraka Charukeerti Swamiji, leader of the institutions of Jain Digambaras tradition in Moodabidri, a town 35 km north of Mangalore (Karnataka).

At the invitation of the bhattaraka (“Supreme Leader”) on 17 July, the prelate visited the religious center as chairman of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).

Archbishop Machado tells AsiaNews: “Swasti Shri Bhattaraka Charukeerti Swamiji welcomed me warmly and graciously to the 14th Century, Jain Math.  This was my first visit to this historical Jain Maht.   I was moved by his simplicity, Swamji is very keen on Inter Religious Dialogue, World Peace and Harmony in India and in the world .”

The two religious leaders also discussed the possibility of organizing a gathering of all religions in Moodbidri, in preparation for the World Meeting of Religions to be held in Chicago in 2015.

Also known as Jain Kashi, the religious center of Moodabidri is considered sacred by the Jains, but is also popular with members of other faiths for its historical and architectural importance. Over the years, the city has become a place of pilgrimage for the Jain community not only for its many temples (Basadi), but also because it preserves the most ancient and sacred scriptures of this religion, the Dhawalas.

- asianews

Forebodings of great violence

July 24, 2014 by admin  
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Parveen TogadiaIndia, July 23, 2014: The violent energies unleashed by communal politics before, during and after the elections have led to social tension that might erupt into great violence any moment. These violent energies have not yet spent themselves as is evident from reports of stray communal violence in the country.

The utterances of two known provocateurs – Parveen Togadia and Ashok Singhal – in the recent days are a cause of concern. If the government at the Centre is at all serious about maintaining law and order it should restrain these two people. I know that as these two are diehard Sangh men the Sangh government would not touch them. Yet, one has the fond hope that the government would act to control the damage for its own credibility.

On July 19 in Jammu Togadia bragged in his familiar style that Muslims would be taught a lesson if they tried to “set fire to Hanuman’s tail”. In his highly toxic rhetoric he told Muslims via a press conference: “You might have forgotten Gujarat 2002 where a lot of your people were killed, but you must remember Muzaffarnagar (killings of last year).”

This speech of Togadia shows that the killings of Gujarat 2002 and Muzaffarnagar are taken as a matter of pride, a badge of honour, by the Sangh, not a cause of shame and disgrace. Secondly, that these massacres were the handiwork and proud “achievement” of the Sangh. They are proud of their deeds and declare it publicly, confident in the knowledge that law cannot touch them. The law is helpless.

Ashok Singhal (a VHP leader like Togadia) too is proud of his acts like Babri Masjid demolition and killings of Gujarat 2002. After the worst killings in Gujarat were over, Singhal announced quietly that “the experiment in the Gujarat laboratory has succeeded.” That meant both the Godhra train attack and subsequent killings of Muslim were pre-planned, organised and orchestrated. It was an “experiment in the lab” that had succeeded.

This time round Singhal declared in Delhi on July 17 that the minorities would not survive in India for too long if they did not learn to respect “Hindu sentiments”. One must ask what exactly those sentiments were. He asserted that the recent elections had proven that elections could be very well won even without the support of Muslims.

If one puts these statements in the backdrop of the ongoing tensions in the country one can take them as forebodings of great communal violence in days ahead. This is not a pleasant prospect as we know law does not exist for these trouble-makers. They were not brought to account in the UPA regime. Certainly, nobody is going to ask them to explain their conduct in NDA regime.

Now, the question is what can be done to stem the tide of lawlessness. It is for the liberal, left and centrist leadership to answer. The community leadership should also sit together to see whether they could do something about it.

- tcn

SC’s remark on government aid to Kandhamal churches

July 22, 2014 by admin  
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kandhamal churches devastatedNew Delhi, July 16, 2014: The Supreme Court today ruled that churches damaged during the Kandhamal riots in December 2007 were not entitled to any compensation as they get sufficient funds from foreign countries.

“You know Mr Gonzalves, most of the churches get funds from foreign governments. So it is not proper for you to ask for chairs in the church or church bells,” Justice H.L. Dattu, heading a three-judge bench, told Colin Gonzalves, who appeared for the riot victims.

Gonzalves had appealed that not only victims but many churches damaged during the riots were not awarded compensation.

The senior counsel argued that as the churches were damaged by rioters, the state, Odisha, should compensate.

On this, the bench said: “Those cases, we will ask you to go to civil courts. In cases of death, we will take care of the compensation.”

The bench also dismissed the counsel’s appeal that the families of those who died of diarrhoea, cholera and snakebites in relief camps should be given compensation.

“Please don’t make such pleas. You can’t ask anything. You can ask for the moon, not the sun. You have to be reasonable. The state of Odisha is also not that prosperous…,” Justice Dattu said, before adjourning the matter till July 23.

- the telegraph

Church vandalized in Uttar Pradesh

July 22, 2014 by admin  
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Church vandalizedBulandshahr, July 18, 2014: Two people, reportedly members of Bajrang Dal, were arrested accused of vandalizing a church in Sehkari Nagar village in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh.

Bajarang Dal area coordinator Hemant Singh and another person have been arrested following a complaint filed by parish priest Father RC Paul, PTI reported.

The incident happened on Monday afternoon, according to Senior Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar.

Scores of Bajrang Dal activists staged a protest outside the residence of the SSP here late last night demanding release of those arrested in the case.

Kumar said an FIR was lodged on the complaint of the priest of the church. “Hemant Singh and one other person were arrested. Eight unknown persons too have been named in the FIR,” he said.

The church at Sehkari Nagar village has been in existence since 1991.

Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh is about 90 km from Delhi.

Meanwhile, Hemant Singh alleged that that church was luring poor Hindus to convert to Christianity.

- ucan

Missionaries of Charity nuns continue works in Gaza

July 22, 2014 by admin  
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Missionaries of CharityIndia, July 22, 2014: A group of five nuns from the Missionaries of Charity silently continue their work for the poor in war-torn Gaza amid Israeli troops starting a ground offensive.

The nuns live in the Latin Convent in Zeiturn, Gaza City and their Superior Sister Belfina told Sunday Express that they are “not going anywhere” war or no war.

They have over 24 differently-abled children and 15 aged women to take care.

“Everything is fine… We are all safe. We often hear the bombings in the distance. It happens more frequently at night, but not so much during the day. The Israelis are bombing Hamas bases on the borders. But our Latin Convent is right in the middle of Gaza City, so we have not been hit by the war yet,” she said in a soft, calm voice.

“We have taken the Fourth Vow — of giving wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor, no matter what the circumstances. We are privileged to serve in Gaza, which is one of the poorest places in the Middle East. As for the raids, we have got used to the sound of the bombs exploding. We have learnt to live with it,” she says.

One of them Sister Liliet is from Orissa. She said she has been serving in the Middle East for a long time and came to Gaza a year ago.

“The Indian office in Ramallah has been calling often, sometimes four times a day, to check on me. It offered to arrange for my passport and papers so that I can return to India… But I don’t want to go back,” she says.

“The bombings have caused a lot of damage… the borders are closed. People’s houses are being destroyed, especially in villages like Beit Lahiya and Khan Younis on the border.

Most of the children in our convent are from these villages. Their parents leave them here so that they are safe and are fed properly. Others who lose their homes in the air raids take shelter in UN schools which provide food,” says Sister Liliet.

- financial express

Bangalore rapes: nun trainee becomes fourth victim

July 19, 2014 by admin  
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rape victimBangalore, July 18, 2014: A 16-year-old girl undergoing training to become a Catholic nun was gangraped Thursday night in Bangalore, southern India.

This was the fourth rape case that came to light in the capital city of Karnataka state in the past one week.

The novice of the Sisters of the Nativity Convent has been admitted at St John’s Hospital in the city. The hospital authorities have strictly restricted the media from contacting her to safeguard her identity.

According to preliminary information, a group of men barged into the novitiate campus and sexually assaulted the novice nun from Andhra Pradesh.

The nuns told Matters India that the victim could not make any noise as the assailants had drugged and left her unconscious. They also scribbled on her arm, “Pay us money or we will report,” the nuns said.

More details of the case are awaited.

The nuns, through perturbed, said they had taken all precautions for the safety of people inside the convent.

Police officials probing the incident told reporters that there was no closed circuit TV or “proper security at the place.”

The novice nun was raped on the day angry citizens stormed a prestigious school in the city where a six-year-old girl student was raped earlier in the month by two male staff members. The incident came to light nearly after two weeks.

The increasing rape cases in the city have enraged the citizens.

People in the city are also upset over a circular issued by many schools saying they would not be responsible for such crimes or the students’ security inside the campus.

Kiran Mazumdar, an activist woman told newspersons at a public forum that “knee-jerk reactions” do not solve problems. “Only a consistent effort to avoid such acts of violence can solve the problem,” she added.

Several citizen and human Rights forums took to the streets Thursday and Friday condemning olice indifference.

City Commissioner Aurdakar assured action against erring police personnel who refused to take immediate action or register FIRs. Meanwhile The Karnataka Legislature saw heated drama with the the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party accusing Congress Home Minister KJ George of taking ‘slow action’ and ‘shielding culprits.’

An emergency meeting has been called Friday afternoon with top police and other officials to discuss the reason for increasing crime, especially rapes.

On July 15, a 22-year girl was raped in a car by some perverts in Frazer town. The local inspector on duty was suspended for asking the girl to ‘tone-down’ the crime and even refusing to take her for an immediate medical examination.

In another case, the police nabbed a man for sexually abusing a hostel boy.

- adolf washington / matters india

Persecution in UP, MP & Chhattisgarh – EFI

July 19, 2014 by admin  
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UP: Sunday Worship Attacked, Christians Beaten up

UPOn 6 July in Saraia ( Madiyahun, Jaunpur ), Hindu extremists attacked a church Sunday worship meeting after they submitted a police complaint against the Christians and threatened that they would stage a protest in front of a church if there is another Sunday worship meeting in the area. Subsequently, the police advised Pastor Ashok Rajbhar to stop conducting worship services and to also ask permission from the District Magistrate to conduct prayer meetings.

However, at about 10:30 am on Sunday, a large mob of the Shiv Sena led by Acche Lal Tiwari reached the church followed closely by five police men who advised the extremists to simply stage a protest outside the church. Not heeding the police advice, the angry Shiv Sena mob stormed into the Prabhu Yeshu Masih Darbar and began to beat up the believers indiscriminately. One unidentified Christian sustained a severe injury in his leg and some believers were badly beaten up.

The police arrested 15 Christians and 12 from the Shiv Sena in connection to the incident who were later released on bail. Around the same time last year, the same group attacked the prayer meeting conducted by Pastor Rajbhar which was followed by several protests against the church meetings and the Christian activities in the area.

MP: Pastor Detained. Believers Beaten

MPOn June 30, Hindu extremists disrupted a prayer meeting of an independent church and beat up the pastor. The extremists forcefully entered into the prayer meeting conducted by Pastor Chimnan Lal in a house church, verbally abused him for his faith in Christ, beat him up and accused him of forceful conversion. At about 1 pm, the police reached the spot and took Pastor Lal to the police station for questioning. “The police asked him about his activities and what songs he was singing”. However, after the intervention of the area church leaders, Pastor Lal was released at about 9 p.m without any charges filed against him.

Pastor, Believers Beaten up in Madhya Pradesh

On 14 June in Gayatri Nagar, Katni, Hindu extremists manhandled Christians and tore up Bibles. About 15 extremists from the Bajrang Dal attacked Pastor Robin Masih and few believers from Brethren church when they were coming out from one believer’s house after a prayer. The extremists surrounded them, started to verbally abuse them for their faith in Christ and pushed them around. Thereafter, the extremists snatched their bags, took out the Bibles and tore it up threatening them “not to pray again in the area in the future.”

Chhattisgarh: Church Demolished

ChhattisgarhOn 24 June in Bhilai, Durg, suspected Hindu extremists demolished an independent church of Pastor Santosh Roa – the thatched building of the church was completely destroyed. Some villagers claimed that the building was destroyed by a cyclone. The area Christians, however, maintained that it was the hands of the extremists as only the church was damaged in the area by the so called ‘cyclone’. Moreover, the local Hindu extremists had threatened to harm Pastor Roa, if he continued to conduct a worship meeting, several times in the past. About 20 families regularly go to the church for prayers. Kindly pray for peace and that the Christians will be able to build a new church.


- efi

Meghalaya starts action against Satan worship

July 19, 2014 by admin  
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shillongShillong, July 16, 2014: Meghalaya government has started a series of steps to curb the reported increase in ‘Satan worship’ in the predominantly Christian state, media reports say.

The cult is particularly troubling Garo Hills, the government has started spreading of awareness against the cult, especially among the youth, the Times of India reported.

According to a top executive, various village defense parties and local durbars (councils) have been generating awareness to “wean away misguided youth indulging in satan worship.

“Night patrolling is being carried out with special attention to graveyards on a regular basis,” said a police officer, who claimed that members of the satanic cult have been gathering at cemeteries to conduct their rituals.

“Police in all the districts of the state have been directed to keep a close watch on such activities by groups or persons, and to liaise with the local headmen to stop rumors that cause lynching of Satan worshippers,” he said.

Last month, five alleged ‘devil worshippers’ were arrested and later, released from Tura, the headquarters of the West Garo Hills.

“All the boys were high school students and had tattoos on their bodies which looked like satanic images. They also had unique parallel lines etched across their stomachs,” a police official said.

“While it is no business of governments in secular nations to monitor who worships whom, it is important to ensure that religious sentiments of none are hurt,” said an observer.

- toi

Indian migrants in Holy Land safe, says chaplain

July 17, 2014 by admin  
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Indian migrantsHoly Land, July 14, 2014: Catholic migrants from India are safe in Holy Land and are praying for peace amid Israeli air strikes and Hamas rockets, says Capuchin Father Tojy Jose, head of the Indian Chaplaincy there.

“Migrants and tourists are apprehensive about the current situation, especially the newly arrived ones: for them it’s a new and terrifying experience,” he told Catholic news agency CNA July 11.

Since July 7 Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip have fired hundreds of rockets on Israel, and the Israelis have responded with a comparable number of air strikes on the Gaza strip.

More than 100 Palestinians have died, according to the Palestinian health ministry, which has also reported that 675, most of the civilians, have been injured.

Father Jose said that many outdoor activities of Israeli immigrants have been cancelled, and that “attendance in the church has decreased, as it is not safe to travel.”

The Indian chaplain said that migrants relatives and friends in India are worried by the current unrest in Palestine and Israel, and continue making enquiries about the security and safety of their loved ones.

“This conflict has affected everyone living in this region, especially the aged, sick, disabled, migrants, and children. It has far-reaching effects on these people,” he said.

The international community has called for a ceasefire, but none seems to be in sight. The recent escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas followed the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and the July 2 killing of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem.

The Gaza Strip is a 141 square mile area, part of Palestine, located to the west of Israel and home to 1.7 million persons.

Since Hamas came to power there in 2007, Israel has conducted an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, restricting the flow of persons and goods in an effort to limit rocket attacks on Israel launched from the territory.

- catholic news agency

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