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India’s Christians want better security at churches

NEW DELHI (UCAN): Christian leaders in India have intensified their call to make churches safer after police arrested 28-year-old Riyaz Aboobacker, also known as Abu Dujanan, at his house in Kerala on April 29 as part of their investigation into the presence of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in the southern state, local reports said.
 

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Sri Lanka attacks heighten security fears in Goa

PANJIM (UCAN): The Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka have spurred the state of Goa, India, to provide security for its ancient Christian buildings, but Church leaders say much more is needed.
 
“Goa needs to take extra precautions,” Pramod Sawant, Goa’s chief minister told media on April 22.
 

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Human chain in India honours Sri Lankan blast victims

NEW DELHI (UCAN): About a hundred people, including Muslims, joined hands to form a human chain in front of New Delhi’s Sacred Heart Cathedral on April 23 to pay homage to the victims of suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 359 people, mostly Christians.
 
Leaders from Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths came together to express solidarity with the families of victims of the Easter Sunday blasts.
 

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Protests after murder by Indian cow vigilantes

NEW DELHI (UCAN): Christian and Muslim advocates joined together in New Delhi to protest violence against minorities five days after a mob of Hindus beat a Catholic man to death for suspected cow slaughter in India’s Jharkhand state.
 
Prakash Lakra and three others were attacked by a mob on April 10 on the suspicion that they had slaughtered a cow in Jhurmu village in the district of Gumla. Lakra died from his injuries hours after the attack, Church sources said.
 

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Pakistani lawmaker asks pope to help end conflict with India

LAHORE (UCAN): Pope Francis was asked by Sunila Ruth, a Christian member National Assembly of Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, to “actively support and call upon the Indian government” to join dialogue efforts to help end the conflict between the nuclear-armed nations.
 

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An innocent sister in jail

Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, February 13
 
 
Last week, I returned from an emotional, heartbreaking visit to jail. I paid a long overdue visit to Sister Concelia Baxla from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, who, along with Anima Indwar, an employee of the Nirmal Hriday Home, was arrested 222 days ago on charges of child trafficking. 
 

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Rohingya exodus from India to Bangladesh

DHAKA (UCAN): At least 1,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh from India since December to escape alleged harassment and imminent deportation, according to Bangladeshi officials.
 

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Priest attacked by Hindu hardliners

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): Father Vineet Vincent Pereira of Varanasi in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, was been arrested on false charges after being beaten up by a hardline youth group, Hindu Yuva Vahini (youth force), on November 15.
 
Father Pereira said that members of the group came to his ashram (retreat venue) in Gohana town in Mau district, and attacked some of the elderly people living there with him.
 

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Amnesty India says raid aimed at silencing government critics

BENGALURU (SE): The bank accounts of human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, in India have been frozen, effectively stopping its work, after the government’s financial crime investigating agency, the Enforcement Directorate, carried out a 10-hour raid at the group’s Bengaluru office on October 25, Vatican News reported on October 26.
 

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Hardline beef with assisting flood victims

New Delhi (UCAN): Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, leader of the All India Hindu Assembly, a hardline Hindu organisation, said it would be a “major sin to give any relief and support to those flood sufferers in Kerala who are beef eaters.” He appealed to the Indian government and Hindus in general not to provide relief to flood-hit victims in Kerala who eat beef, as the cow is a revered animal in Hinduism.
 

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