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India’s Christians upset by calls to abolish confession

NEW DEHLI (Agencies): “This demand is absurd and it displays ignorance about the sacrament of confession,” said Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai, president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India, reacting to a proposal by the National Commission for Women, an Indian federal agency, to abolish the sacrament of confession CNS reported.
 

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Indian state called out for harassing Christians

Bhopal (UCAN): Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, called on the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to intervene and stop the harassment of Christians after the state of Jharkhand ordered a probe into the funding of more than 80 Christian organisations.
 

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Priests look to Vatican in Kerala land deal case

KOCHI (UCAN): After the High Court of Kerala, India dismissed a case against George Cardinal Alencherry over a land deal that has rocked the Church for more than a year, priests have submitted a formal request for the Pope Francis to look into the matter.
 

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Report says Indian government ignoring religious violence

SRINAGAR (UCAN): The United States (US) Commission on International Religious Freedom has accused the Indian government of doing little to prevent violence against religious minorities and socially poor Dalit people.
 
The commission’s latest report, released on April 25, said the government of prime minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi, of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has not addressed the problem of sectarian violence despite government statistics showing that sectarian violence has increased sharply over the past two years.

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Clampdown after Catholic hospital attacked in Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL (UCAN): On March 15, three days after suspected Hindu activists demolished the boundary wall of the 44-year-old Pushpa Mission Hospital in Ujjain town in Madhya Pradesh province, in central India, the local authority issued a prohibitory order to check tension and further activities in the disputed area.
 

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Indian bishops concerned about threats to diversity

BANGALORE (CNS): “Intolerance is causing a certain amount of anxiety to us,” Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai, said at the end of the February 2 to 9 assembly of Indian bishops held in Bangalore.
 
The newly elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), expressed “anguish” over increasing threats to pluralism in the country.
 

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Indian government admits rise in religious hate crimes

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): India’s pro-Hindu government presented detailed data in parliament showing a surge in religion-based violence since it came to power four years ago. The statistics, revealed on February 6, confirm a long-standing allegation by rights groups that the situation is worsening.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the coalition government, has been accused by rights groups and civil society of fanning the flames of intolerance.

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Don’t sideline constitution Indian cardinal says

BANGALORE (CNS): “Poverty is the mortal sin of modern times. It is the biggest terrorism and evil that needs to be fought by the Church,” said Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar. He was delivering the keynote address at the inaugural session of the 33rd general body meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) that began in Bengaluru on February 2 on the theme, United in diversity for a mission of mercy and witness.
 

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Priests defending hospital charged with rioting

BHOPHAL (UCAN): Four Catholic priests have been charged with rioting and criminal intimidation in India’s Madhya Pradesh state over a land dispute involving a plot of land adjacent to the 44-year-old Pushpa Mission Hospital and a group of people from the Hindu, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who claim the plot is illegally occupied. 
 

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Southern Asia’s year of worshipping dangerously

Of course, it is almost impossible to get past the ongoing visceral horror of the plight of Myanmar’s ethnic Muslim Rohingya people; over 650,000 of them brutally forced from their homes onto the margins of existence into crowded, inadequate, life-threatening refugee camps.