India: Christians write to PM on priest attacks

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By Sonal Kellogg

New Delhi: In an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and president of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi, the president of the All-India Christian Council, Joseph D'Souza, has questioned the UFA government on its silence despite the number of attacks on Christian pastors and priests across the country. He said "We fear this overwhelming cloud of hate and violence has in it the seeds of much tragedy in the future. I hope and pray it will not lead to a massacre of my community possibly in some distant village area or in Christian compound." D'Souza, in his letter pointed out that attacks on Christian pastors and priests have increased in a number of states but there have been a deafening silence from the government. He said, "I wonder if you noticed the glee with which people in Kolhapur smashed their fists into the stomach of a helpless Tamil pastor. Others in the same mob proudly told the camera they were from Hindutva groups even as they rained blows at the head of the second pastor. Did you notice Pastor Walter Masih in his small house in Jaipur being hit repeatedly by lathi-bearing youth as his wide-eyed daughter cowered behind a door? The child is still traumatized. As, indeed, is the Christian community in India." All India Christian Council presidents Joseph D'Souza said, "These images should have seared the conscience of the nation, but they have invited nothing more than a smug silence from all governments, the Congress chief minister in Maharashtra, the BJP chief minister in Raj as than. In Madhya Pradesh, women raped for being Christians have wept in silence, even the police and TV refusing to listen to them."

Asian Age, ND, May 19,2007

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