Thousands of Christians formed a 12-mile human chain in the state of Jharkhand in India, after Church services on Sunday, protesting the state persecution of the Christian community.
About 10 000 Christians from the tribes gathered for demonstrations in Ranchi, Gumla, Simdega, Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Kunti against the arrest of local Christian leaders to tarnish their reputation, and against political decisions that, in their opinion, can lead to the fact that they will be deprived of privileges, rights and land, reports the Christian megaportal invictory.com citing The Christian Post.
“Catholic nuns, priests, pastors are being attacked and imprisoned. Their companies searched. They are accused of all the troubles that occur in the state,” said event organizer Prabhakar Tirkey, President of the Ecumenical Christian forum, the Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh, the Asian Catholic news publication.
One of the cases that touched Christians from the tribes associated with the based nun from mother Teresa missionary of the women’s shelter in Ranchi. This month after it emerged that four children were sold from the asylum, a nun was arrested on charges of child trafficking. Currently, the government is seeking to freeze the Bank accounts of the organization and to check all the missionaries of charity care for children.
Another case concerned father, the Jesuit Alphonse and the head of school in a remote village. The priest was arrested June 22 on charges of aiding and abetting the abduction and gang rape of five social activists. However, Church leaders claim that the allegations against the priest to be fabricated.
Although the nun reportedly confessed to the sale of four babies from a shelter, the Secretary General of the Catholic bishops conference of India Theodore Mascarenhas claims that she told the lawyer of the charitable organization on July 11, which was not involved in the sale of the child and that she wrote the statement “under pressure” with police, according to Press Trust of India.
The missionaries of charity also denied that the babies were sold.
Prabhakar Tirkey and other Christian leaders believe that the arrests of the leaders is part of the government-sponsored campaign to discredit Christian leaders and missionaries.
“It’s part of an organized plan to keep the common people away from the Christian institutions and missionaries,” said Tirkey Uca News.
Ankita Kujur, one of the participants of the protest action, told the newspaper that the government is working on dividing the tribal community in Jharkhand between Christians and non-Christians in an attempt to weaken support tribal rights.
Demonstration held in connection with the fact that the state government had tried to exclude from the two laws provisions protecting land rights of indigenous peoples. Many fear that the lands of tribes can be used for industrial development and mining.
Bishop Joseph D’souza, President of all India Christian Council, told The Christian Post that although he does not know all the details of the cases against religious leaders who were arrested, he explained that targeted attacks on tribal Christians in Jharkhand “real”.
“In Jharkhand is a tribal state, there are a lot of tribal Christians who have access to land, he said. Since then, the state has moved in the right hands, the attack on Christians from the tribes became reality… the Christian tribes are being attacked and harassed the States of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. This is a tactic of terror to the tribes practiced their faith and did not know how to live”.
Currently, India occupies 11th place in the list of countries persecuting Christians (World Watch List) Christian relief organization Open Doors USA 2018. Most of the persecution, according to Open Doors, happening at the hands of right-wing Hindu activists.