Indian Catholic News

Catholics concerned over polarization ahead of elections

The All India Catholic Union also endorsed the Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter on the general elections.

File photo.

The All India Catholic Union, India’s oldest laity organization, has expressed concern at the communal polarization that is peaking on the eve of the general elections in the country.

Many communities including Muslims and Dalits are victims of targeted violence, said a statement issued at the end of the working committee meeting of the union.

Of particular concern is the sudden and sustained violence against the Christian community in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party strongman, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, said the statement from AICU president Lancy D'Cunha and spokesperson John Dayal.

It was issued after group’s meeting in Varanasi on March 24.

Christian leaders from Jaunpur gave a graphic account of the situation when they addressed the Working committee of the AICU at Navsadhana, the noted Catholic mass media centre in Varanasi.

Uttar Pradesh had, in the brief period between September and December 2018, seen as many as 109 cases of violence against Christian pastors, small house churches, and women and men faithful at worship in small towns and villages.

This was the highest in the country. More than 40 cases had taken place in Jaunpur alone. In the first months of 2019, the region recorded 15 more cases.

The AICU noted a Catholic petty farmer and labor in Jharkhand was among those killed by cow-protector lynch mobs.

The AICU endorsed the Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter on the general elections.

The AICU also, just as the bishops, made no preference for any party but left it to the conscience and good sense of the electorate.

However, it wanted the electors to choose political leaders who respect India’s cultural plurality who commit themselves to the service of the poor, to communal harmony and to development.


Top Stories