Bengaluru: The Archbishop of Bangalore, Peter Machado, on Sunday condemned the police directive to Christians not to hold prayers in community halls and similar venues for 15 days in Belagavi.
“Police sent a message not to hold prayers for 15 days in Belagavi when the legislature session is on. It is like saying do not eat food for some days. Faith is the background in which all good works are done. To say you do not have prayers is not the way. On the other hand, if they had fortified every church, every place, that would have given them a lot of credit,” he said.
The archbishp was speaking on the sidelines of the release of a fact-finding report by the Association for Protection of Civil Rights on attacks against Christians. The report is a compilation of attacks on Christians across the country, according to which, in the past one year, 91 incidents were reported. These range from the Roorkee Church violence in October 2020 to nuns being attacked in Mau, Uttar Pradesh.
“Till now, attacks against Christians used to happen in interior places, like in North Karnataka where they are a minority. Now, they are happening in areas like Hubballi, Dharwad and Mangaluru, which means people are taking law in their hands. Certain attitude of the government shows this is allowed and can go on. This is sad. If the government can put down its feet and say there’s a rule of the land, these things will not happen,” he said.
‘Christians will suffer if anti-conversion bill passed’
According to him, there is so much trouble even though the anti-conversion bill has not yet been passed.
“If passed, it will trouble all of us and leave us helpless. This bill was passed in Odisha in 1967. After 30 years, the state was burning. Over 300 churches were burnt, 3,000 houses were set on fire and 67 people died. It will cause a similar situation here too. I request the government to not pass the bill as it will trouble the Christian community,” he added.
source :Archbishop flays police order against holding prayers in halls
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