Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the Long Island Catholic:

Local priests react to violence in India

"As new reports of Hindu extremists attacking Catholics reach the U.S., Indian priests serving on Long Island are hoping that U.S. Catholics and other Christians will become aware and vocal in defending their fellow Christians in India.
According to Catholic News Service reports and information from a Web site of the Indian bishops, about 60 Christians have been killed, 300 villages have been destroyed, 50,000 people are left homeless, more than 18,000 have been injured, including priests and nuns, two women were gang raped, and more than 150 churches and other church facilities have already been destroyed while still more were vandalized or desecrated.“It is terribly troubling,” said Father Augustine Fernando, associate pastor of St. Kilian’s Church in Farmingdale and a native of India. He has been in touch with priests from his home diocese and has gotten information from a Web site of the Indian bishops’ conference. He is hoping that Americans will become aware and raise their voices."

One of the causes of the violence may the fear of losing out to Christianity:

"There has been a surge of Indians who have joined the Catholic and other Christian Churches, Father Sabhasundar said, but he denies that the Catholic Church has made any special effort to draw Hindus. Rather, the Catholic Church and other Christians offer health and other services to people of all faiths.“They find dignity and equal-ity in Christianity,” Father Sabhasundar said, and many are drawn to the teachings of Jesus. This is particularly true of “outcasts,” those who are excluded from the traditional Hindu caste system."

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