The Christian minority in India has come together in a collective from different parts of the country to express deep concern over the increasing intolerance. 

NEW DELHI: The Christian minority in India has come together in a collective from different parts of the country to express deep concern over the increasing intolerance.

The Christians were targeted by the Hindutva groups in their ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign, accusing them of conversions. Priests and nuns were attacked and churches gutted in a spate of violence across western Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring states.

The Church had expressed concern at the time. But this is a first when an assortment of individuals from the community have recorded their protest.

The statement reads:

“We the undersigned Indian Christians as citizens of our country India and as Christians in unequivocal terms denounce the growing intolerance in the country. We also denounce the sinister attempts to do away with reservation policy and ultimately the attempt to undermine the Constitution of India; we denounce the planned move to utilize religion for politico-economic benefits; we denounce the well orchestrated efforts to use government machinery to achieve ones evil ends; we denounce all the efforts to divide the nation into fiefdom of some elements.

We denounce all the attempts to erode scientific temper and scholarship by meddling with the education system of the country. We are in special way concerned at how the Indigenous Adivasi People in our country are being coerced to leave their traditional nature-based religious beliefs and practices and are subjected to so-called ‘ghar wapsi’ by some hindutva elements thus ushering in disharmony within their communities. Under this pretext, they are being alienated from their natural habitat and resources.

As citizens, we uphold the democratic, secular and socialist principles and practices of our mother country; we uphold the basic foundations of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in our Constitution for all the citizens of the country; we uphold the right to freedom of different cultures, religions, ways of life, beliefs, traditions, practices, customs and orientations; we uphold the right of the citizens to live a life without any intimidation by anyone; we uphold the age old tradition of living in harmony and unity by all the citizens of this country; we uphold the value of rural reconstruction and nation building.

Further, we stand in solidarity with all victims of targeted violence against Adivasis, Dalits, Women, religious minorities and people of other orientations. We uphold freedom of expression and ways of life. We are in defence of human rights defenders and advocacy groups.

We stand in solidarity with all those from various walks of life, faiths, traditions, backgrounds, cultures, communities, professions and orientations who have raised voice against the growing intolerance in the country and call upon all the citizens to resist every move to create crisis and conflict by some vested interests.

We invite others too to stand up at this time and express concern and do whatever is needed to uphold inclusive development, peace, unity, integrity, sovereignty and harmony in our Country India.”

Citizens of India

Mr. Francis Colaso – Former DGP Karnataka

John Dayal – Member, National Integration Council, Writer and Activist

Darryl D’Monte – Journalist, Maharashtra

Dr. Walter Fernandes – Social Scientist, Guwahati

Cedric Prakash – Social Activist, Ahmadabad

A.C. Michael – Former Minority Commission Member, Govt of Delhi

Lukose Vallatharai IAS (Rtd) – Bengaluru

Philomena Fernandez – Goans in Gulf

Dolphy Dsouza – Police Reforms Watch, Mumbai

Ms. Virginia Saldanhaz- Secretary, Indian Christian Women’s Movement, Mumbai

Dr. Kochurani Abraham – Indian Women Theologians Forum, Kottayam

Managing Committee Members of the Bombay Catholic Sabha, Kalina Unit

BG Koshy – The Rainbow Forum, Bangalore

Margaret Gonsalves – ANNNI Charitable Trust, Maharashtra

Ms. Mary Alfred, International Travel House, Mumbai

Fr. Dominic Immanuel – Media Person, Delhi

Dr. Fr. Felix Raj – Principal, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

Aasha Ramesh – Bengaluru

Deepak Mukarji – Delhi

Clement Periera – Bengaluru

Alana Golmei – Guwahati

Ajaya Singh – Bhubaneswar

Manju Tirkey – Rourkela

Harvey Hoddings – Bengaluru

Cynthia Stephen – Bengaluru

Dominic Immanuel – Delhi

Dr. Keith D Cunha – Bengaluru

Helen Saldanha – New York

Alex Ekka – Ranchi

Marie Charmaine Lamount – Bengaluru

Rajesh M Singh – Bengaluru

Dr. Goldy George – Raipur

R. Viegas – Mumbai

Gracias C – Bengaluru

Benny Chiramel – Trivandrum

Venus Mario John – Bengaluru

Lynette Gomes – Mumbai

Sebastian Poomattam – Chattisgarh

Harry Pereira – Bengaluru

Anthony Dias – Mumbai

Santona Das – Bengaluru

Ms. M. Shimray – Manipur

A R F Viegas – Mumbai

Fredrick Francis – Bengaluru

Rebecca Kurian – Bengaluru

Angela L Viegas – Mumbai

Omena Matthan – Bengaluru

Mr. Eldred Tellis – Mumbai

Mr. Loyola Azavedo – Mumbai

Fulgence Lakra – Jashpur

Sannybhai – Surat

Mario Jason Braganza – Thane

Ms. Prasanna Thomas – Mumbai

Aloysius Irudayam – Madurai,

Joe Mattam – Vadodara

Joe Xavier – Madurai

Rosely Cheeramkunnel – Mumbai

Sr Mariola BS – Mangaloru

Velangani Sinnamuthu – Kalol, Gujart

Stan Swamy – Ranchi

A.J. Philip – Delhi

Stanley H Mark – Bengaluru

Jothi – Kolkatt

Alwyn D’Souza – Bangkok

Julius Gonsalves – Bengaluru

Dorothy D’Souza – Pune

Manu Alphonse – Chennai

Fredrick Francis – Bengaluru

Ruth D’Souza – Maharashtra

Benedict Joy – Bengaluru

R. Viegas – Mumbai

Rapheal RSM – Bengaluru

Xavier Jeyaraj – Kolkatta

William Stanley – Vizag

Lewis James – Bengaluru

Dr. Rudi Heredia – Mumbai

Bobby – Delhi

K.M. Selvaraj – Ooty

Freda Coelho – Ahmadabad

Miss Anoushka Viegas – Mumbai

Ruby – Jammu

James Pochury – Nagaland

Xavier Manjooran – Songad, Gujarat

Shanta Mathai – Bengaluru

Nithiya Sagayam – Trichy

Mr. Apem Shangh – Manipur

Premalatha Kumar – Bengaluru

Lydia Fernandez – Bengaluru

Mathai Kocuparampil – Ahmedabad

Prashant Olalekar – Lonavala

Valerian Mendonca – Belgium

Rita Puthenkalam – Bihar

Leela Jose – Kochi

Enid Fernandes – Mumbai

Antony Arulraj – New Delhi

Dinesh Braganza – Mumbai

Mathew AJ – Trichy

Rohit James Joseph – Mumbai

Sr Jessy Leena BS – Mangaloru

Velangani Sinnamuthu – Kalol, Gujart

Lynette Viegas – Lector at Our Lady of Egypt Church, Mumbai

Mrs. Praxedes Gomes – Senior Citizen, Mumbai

Sahaya Philomin Raj – Tamil Nadu

Owen Chourappa – Kohima

David Solomon – Dumka

Varkey Perekkatt – Delhi

Jacob Kujur – Pathalgaon

Lilly Pereira BS – Austria

Lourdu Raju.D.Joy – Khammam, Telangana

Hazel D’Lima – Mumbai

Dr. Pius Kizha – Kerala

Nestor J Rodrigues – Bengaluru

Samuel Kapani – Austria

Vedanayagam – Dharmapur, Tamil Nadu

Arockiasamy Arulandu

Dr. Prakash Louis – Patna