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Attacks on Mysore Church & U.P. pastors

Major Christian organisations including the All India Christian Council, the All India Catholic Union as well as the Jamiat ul Ulema-e Hind, and other civil society groups have condemned the attack by Sangh Parivar elements on the Holy Family Church in Mysore (Karnataka state) during the Holy Mass on Sunday 17 February 2002, which comes in the wake of a series of attacks on pastors and church workers in various cities of Uttar Pradesh in recent weeks. 

In Mysore, at least four persons, including a woman, were injured in the yesterday’s attack. The government has been informed of at least four major attacks on Christian workers in Uttar Pradesh, Dr John Dayal said in New Delhi speaking on behalf of the All India Christian Council and the All India Catholic Union.

“This seems a well planned campaign to terrorise the minorities and is part of the Sangh Parivar’s long term strategy,” Jamiat ul Ulema-e Hind general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madni said in a statement of solidarity to the All India Christian Council. The Jamiat is one of India’s most respected and oldest Muslim organisations. “All secular people, the minority communities and others must unitedly face this challenge,” Maulana Madani said.

In its statement, the All India Catholic Union expressed its deep distress that the Holy mass was disrupted by hooligans who shouted political and anti Christian slogans even as the police looked on. The statement issued on behalf of All India Catholic Union National President Dr M E Menezes, National Vice President Dr John Dayal and Secretary general Mrs. Inez Cotta Carvalho called on the government of Karnataka to identify the culprits and take action to ensure that such incidents did not take place in future. Karnataka’s age old environment of communal amity has been sullied by several anti-Christian incidents in the past two years.

The All India Christian Council, in a statement by council president Dr Joseph D Souza, Secretary General Dr John Dayal and Karnataka state leader Kumaraswamy said the attack was a naked aggression by the Sangh Parivar. “They have learnt nothing from their so called dialogue, some rounds of which were held in Karnataka, with some leaders of the Christian community,” the council said.

In fact, the statement said, the Sangh Parivar has no inclination of shedding its communal agenda, as is clear from the developments in Uttar Pradesh. Its utter contempt for the law of the land and for civil society is all too apparent. It has also not diluted its hate campaign against the Christian community. Senior Sangh leaders continue to speak against the holiest tenets of the Christian faith in public statements.

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