Archbishop seeks PM’s intervention to address Christians’ concerns such as attacks on churches
BENGALURU — Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for interacting with members of the Christian community at his residence on Christmas, Archbishop of Bengaluru Peter Machado on Thursday sought his intervention to address concerns such as hate speeches, attacks on Churches, and the promulgation of anti-conversion law, among others.
“The Christian Community, while thanking the Prime Minister who endeared himself to Christians with his goodwill and hosting of Christmas celebrations at his residence, makes a strong appeal to him to address the pending issues and respond positively to the concerns of the community,” he said. “If done, the Christians will remain ever grateful to him.”
In an interaction with Christians at his residence in Delhi on Christmas, Modi while heaping praise on the community had said that the values of compassion, inclusivity and justice for all propagated by Jesus Christ also served as a “guiding light” in his government’s development journey.
Stating that Christmas celebrations this year were special for Christians in India as Modi had invited representatives of the community in New Delhi to his residence, the Archbishop said the PM himself spoke of believers of the faith in a very complimentary, positive and favourable manner.
“To take positively forward Modiji’s Christmas message of peace and goodwill, it would be an excellent move on his part to address the concerns of the Christian community by taking into confidence the cardinals, bishops, priests, and the religious and lay leaders of the community,” he said in a release.
Machado said that instances of hate speech against Christians, attacks on churches and Christian institutions and the promulgation of anti-conversion laws in more and more states has led to deprivation and usurpation of the constitutional rights of Christians, which can be best handled by the Prime Minister’s Office with timely interventions.
“We all look up to the Prime Minister to give a soothing touch to the burning problem of Manipur, which may be an ethnic issue, but has left deep scars on the people of the Christian community,” he said.
“Further the Prime Minister can surely take Christian leaders into confidence in resolving the Dalit Christian reservations issue in a statesmanship type of leadership by granting equal status to all Dalits, be they Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians,” he added.
Noting that as Modiji mentioned in his Christmas message, the Christian community is working through its dedicated and selfless service towards creating a society where there is justice for all and for an inclusive society, the Archbishop said. “These values, as he mentioned, serve as a guiding light in our journey of national development, provided all communities are respected, protected and taken into confidence.”