India: The modern Herod who kills children and violates religious freedom

world | Dec 28, 2011 | By Asia News

Mumbai - In today's society "the modern Herod is anyone who practices female feticide and infanticide, who limits religious freedom and abuses human rights" reflected Card. Oswald Gracias, president of the Indian Bishops' Conference and archbishop of Mumbai, on the Feast of Holy Innocents, which is celebrated today.

According to the cardinal, also secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), "those who kill female fetuses are afraid of God and women. Anyone who allows money to become his god. In the minds of these people, there is the belief that women are only an economic problem. Our Lord came to bring abundant life, and I think anyone who limits the possibilities of life, is like Herod. Today, people are afraid to let other people live. "

Persecution of Christians in India commemorates the martyrdom of the innocents in Bethlehem. "Whoever violates religious freedom – continued Card. Gracias -, attacks Christians because they believe in Jesus and in our Lord. Those people who suppress human rights, foster corruption and follow materialism, are destroying the life of Christ. "

One of the most recent cases of religious persecution against Christians was that of Khander Mani Khanna, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church in Kashmir, arrested for having baptized seven young Muslims on November 19 last. Among many problems - including a heavy boycott and defamation campaign by the Legal Association of Jammu and Kashmir - Rev. Khanna was released on bail on December 1 last, but currently can no longer carry out his mission.

Rev. Khanna’s difficulties have not finished yet, also because of his weak state of health. "This year's Christmas - his son tells AsiaNews - was not like other years. The churches of Srinagar and Gulmarg have not had a pastor. There were no songs, nor have we been able to receive communion, because the man who led the service is not yet ordained. We have no organized lunch, because my father diabetes has worsened".

Even the young men baptised by Rev. Khanna are facing various difficulties. Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), tells AsiaNews: "I met three of them on December 10 last, the World Day for Human Rights. Together with Rev. Khanna we made a small prayer service. But these young people fear for their lives and feel in danger, there are great social and religious pressures on them to return to Islam. "

A case in point, says the president of the GCIC, "is the most painful. One young man worked as a security guard, but after his conversion had to give up his badge, thus losing his job. In addition, he has been the victim of inhuman beatings, his ear was actually burned. "

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