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The Catholic Church is under attack in India because of the story of “trafficking” in babies


Noah Seelam | AFP

Lucandrea Massaro - published on 08/04/18 - updated on 08/04/18

The Indian authorities' motivation isn't the search for the truth, but the desire for a scapegoat to increase anti-Christian prejudice.

Since the Indian conservative party BJP (the Bharatiya Janata Party) came into power, pressure on the Catholic Church has increased dramatically. The motive is simple and dramatic: Hindu nationalists have drawn a significant portion of their votes from Hindu religious fundamentalists who want to expel from India everything that doesn’t have its origin in Indian culture, beginning with Christianity, which has always been in a difficult situation in that part of the world, but which, with previous governments, had achieved a generally peaceful coexistence.

The case—completely circumscribed—of just one sister who, together with a lay nurse, had given children in adoption in exchange for payment, has given the authorities (and the nationalists) a motive to accuse the Church, its non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and all the houses of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

“The investigation was requested through a formal complaint by the Bharatiya Janata (BJP), the conservative political group with the greatest number of representatives in the national parliament. John Dayal, a Catholic activist, has no doubts: ‘The Indian government, incited by Hindu religious nationalism, has decided to teach the Christian community a lesson. It’s obvious by now,’ he emphasizes in a declaration released in the name of the ‘All India’ Catholic Union, ‘that the federal government is ordering an investigation of every single house that takes care of abandoned children, young mothers, homeless mothers, and the sick and the dying, managed by the Missionaries of Charity.'” (Avvenire)

Funds from abroad (in their vast majority, donations sent from the West to India, the fruit of the generosity of many parishes) are now subjected to an analysis that is more attentive than ever before.

“The operations of Christian organizations have ended up under the magnifying glass of state authorities after the scandal of the sale of newborn babies involving an orphanage of Mother Teresa’s sisters. That has been the starting point for an investigation of all of the structures of the Missionaries of Charity. Now, however, the Bishops point out, the investigations have been expanded to all Christian associations, which have become the target of discrimination—and denunciation—‘just because they are Christian.'”

As explained during a press conference by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the episcopal conference (CBCI) and also the secretary of the regional council of bishops of Jharkhand, such a focus on funds coming from abroad can have only one explanation:

“Perhaps the state government wants to find evidence that the workers of Christian groups are terrorists? But Christian organizations are not the only ones that receive funds from abroad under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act). Why, then, have other NGOs been spared?” (Asia News)

In India, Muslims are also discriminated against by the government of Narendra Modi, which is imposing a progressive process of “Hinduization” of society, attacking the various minorities day after day. Making the news these days is the revocation of citizenship of 4 million people residing in the state of Assam, in the north of the country.

The National Register for Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who can prove that they moved to the state on or before March 24, 1971, the day before Bangladesh’s declaration of independence, but now it has become a deportation list: whoever is on the list will be expelled by the authorities.

“The Indian government has declared that in this way it will be able to remove from the country a great number of migrants from Bangladesh.

“The measure has been strongly criticized by ethnic minorities, who sustain that the list drawn up by the government discriminates against them; according to them, Prime Minister Modi’s objective is to favor the Hindu majority to the detriment of the Muslim population (TPI).”

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