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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Indian bishop asks prime minister to stop hatred against Christians

The secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘to intervene to stop hatred’ in the eastern state of Jharkhand.

Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas charged in a letter to Modi that ‘spiraling hatred’ was being perpetuated by Raghubar Das, chief minister of Jharkhand and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is known for pursuing a Hindu nationalist legislative agenda.

Released on 13th September, the letter said if such actions were ‘not controlled immediately,’ violence and hate would erupt.

Modi also is a member of BJP.

Bishop Mascarenhas wrote that he was prompted to act because of ‘a frightening, disquieting and scary photo’ a Catholic youth sent him showing the burning of an effigy of Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi and the head of the Catholic Church in Jharkhand.

‘Perhaps those leading this ideological hatred targeting the Christian community do not know what they are doing, where they are leading the people to: on the road of hatred and division,’ the letter said.

Picture: Hindu nationalists are pictured in a recent photo burning an effigy of Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India. (CNS).