Catholic groups demand diocesan schools to close as protest

The St George Catholic Church in Mumbai’s New Panvel belonging to Kalyan diocese was attacked on March 21.

India
March 24 2015, 5:14 PM
Catholic groups demand diocesan schools to close as protest

Catholic groups in the Indian state of Maharashtra demanded that all schools run by the Mumbai Archdiocese be closed for a day to protest against the attack on a church in Mumbai.

The St George Catholic Church in Mumbai’s New Panvel belonging to Kalyan diocese was attacked on March 21. Three masked men on motorcycles threw stones on the church, smashing a glass case protecting the statue of Saint George.

"We demand the closure of the schools of the Archdiocese of Mumbai on March 25, to protest against the attacks on Christian institutions," said the statement issued by a platform of associations, including Catholic Secular Forum, Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum, and Association of Concerned Catholics, among others.

"Christian communities have been attacked since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power. We presented a document to the Diocesan Council for Education demanding that Catholic schools remain closed on March 25 in order to send a strong message to politics," the groups said.

Joseph Dias, representative of the CSF, will meet with representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).

The NGOs believe that, despite the reassurances of Ministers, at all levels, the attacks against Christian communities continue, giving the impression that "fundamentalists are given the green light".

The platform of NGOs called on the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, to increase the safety of places of worship as "there seems to be a sinister plan to disrupt the secular and pluralist fabric of the state".

Source: Agenzia Fides