Thursday, August 28, 2008

Orissa Violence: Govt. Like Mute Spectators

Orissa Violence is Assault on Justice and Peace: Archbishop Bernard Moras

BANGALORE, Karnataka (SAR NEWS) -- "It is shocking that the government of Orissa never took sufficient steps to subvert violence and douse the flames of communalism in the state and has failed to arrest the culprits and are like mute spectators" Archbishop Bernard Moras, President of the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops' council told a press conference at the Archbishop's House. He said that the Catholic Church in Karnataka expresses great alarm at the brutal violence against Christians.

Denying allegations that Catholics were involved in forced conversions, Rector of Jesuit Institutions in Karnataka Fr. Terence Farias said "We Christians abide by the law, if there are any forcible conversions, let the government initiate legal action, but nobody should take law into their hands" The Archbishop added "All forcible conversions are to be condemned. Conversion is a personal decision between the individual and God"

Appealing to press persons at the conference Sr. Genevieve, Secretary, Karnataka Catholic Schools Association, "It is disheartening that the Media has very often failed to speak about our work among the marginalized and also failed to publish news about attacks on our community. We often receive nothing, or just a small space in the newspapers about such injustices".

The Archbishop observed "The Government of Orissa never took sufficient steps to subvert violence and douse the flames of communalism in the state, despite the government being forewarned of possible communal attacks on the Christian community way back in September 2006, with the publication of "Communalism in Orissa" - the Report of the Indian People's Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights - headed by Justice K. K. Usha (Retd.) former Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.

The Church in India has served and continues to serve the less privileged and the marginalized in the remotest parts of the country, even where government services have not reached the poor. To attack the Church and its members amounts to assaulting the cause of Justice Peace and Harmony. In view of this all the schools will remain closed across the country. The Archbishop declared that all educational institutions in Karnataka will remain closed on Friday August 29th in protest against the violence against Christians in Orissa.

Source: SAR News

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